Cellular Tree Classifiers
(invited lecture for ALT 2014)

Author: Luc Devroye

Affiliation: School of Computer Science, McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Abstract. This is joint work with Gerard Biau. Suppose that binary classification is done by a tree method in which the leaves of a tree correspond to a partition of d-space. Within a partition, a majority vote is used. Suppose furthermore that this tree must be constructed recursively by implementing just two functions, so that the construction can be carried out in parallel by using "cells": first of all, given input data, a cell must decide whether it will become a leaf or internal node in the tree. Secondly, if it decides on an internal node, it must decide how to partition the space linearly. Data are then split into two parts and sent downstream to two new independent cells. We discuss the design and properties of such classifiers.

Bio. Luc P. Devroye is a Belgian computer scientist/mathematician and a James McGill Professor in the School of Computer Science of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He studied at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and subsequently at Osaka University and in 1976 received his PhD from University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Terry Wagner. Devroye specializes in the probabilistic analysis of algorithms, random number generation and enjoys typography. Since joining the McGill faculty in 1977 he has won numerous awards, including an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (1987), a Humboldt Research Award (2004), the Killam Prize (2005) and the Statistical Society of Canada gold medal (2008). He received an honorary doctorate from the Université catholique de Louvain in 2002, and he received an honorary doctorate from Universiteit Antwerpen on March 29, 2012.

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