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Evolutionary Computation

Fall 2003, Vol. 11, No. 3, Pages 209-238
(doi: 10.1162/106365603322365289)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Accuracy-Based Learning Classifier Systems: Models, Analysis and Applications to Classification Tasks
Article PDF (377.69 KB)

Recently, Learning Classifier Systems (LCS) and particularly XCS have arisen as promising methods for classification tasks and data mining. This paper investigates two models of accuracy-based learning classifier systems on different types of classification problems. Departing from XCS, we analyze the evolution of a complete action map as a knowledge representation. We propose an alternative, UCS, which evolves a best action map more efficiently. We also investigate how the fitness pressure guides the search towards accurate classifiers. While XCS bases fitness on a reinforcement learning scheme, UCS defines fitness from a supervised learning scheme. We find significant differences in how the fitness pressure leads towards accuracy, and suggest the use of a supervised approach specially for multi-class problems and problems with unbalanced classes. We also investigate the complexity factors which arise in each type of accuracy-based LCS. We provide a model on the learning complexity of LCS which is based on the representative examples given to the system. The results and observations are also extended to a set of real world classification problems, where accuracy-based LCS are shown to perform competitively with respect to other learning algorithms. The work presents an extended analysis of accuracy-based LCS, gives insight into the understanding of the LCS dynamics, and suggests open issues for further improvement of LCS on classification tasks.