Hierarchical distance learning by stacking nearest neighbor classifiers

Mete Ozay, Fatos Tunay Yarman-Vural

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a two-layer decision fusion technique, called Fuzzy Stacked Generalization (FSG) which establishes a hierarchical distance learning architecture. At the base-layer of an FSG, fuzzy k-NN classifiers receive different feature sets each of which is extracted from the same dataset to gain multiple views of the dataset. At the meta-layer, first, a fusion space is constructed by aggregating decision spaces of all the base-layer classifiers. Then, a fuzzy k-NN classifier is trained in the fusion space by minimizing the difference between the large sample and N-sample classification error. In order to measure the degree of collaboration among the base-layer classifiers and the diversity of the feature spaces, a new measure called, shareability, is introduced. Shearability is defined as the number of samples that are correctly classified by at least one of the base-layer classifiers in FSG. In the experiments, we observe that FSG performs better than the popular distance learning and ensemble learning algorithms when the shareability measure is large enough such that most of the samples are correctly classified by at least one of the base-layer classifiers. The relationship between the proposed and state-of-the-art diversity measures is experimentally analyzed. The tests performed on a variety of artificial and real-world benchmark datasets show that the classification performance of FSG increases compared to that of state-of-the art ensemble learning and distance learning methods as the number of classes increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-31
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Fusion
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


  • Classification
  • Decision fusion
  • Ensemble learning
  • Hierarchical distance learning
  • Nearest neighbor rule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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