Genre-Based Decomposition of Email Class Noise
published: Sept. 14, 2009, recorded: June 2009, views: 3005
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Corruption of data by class-label noise is an important practical concern impacting many classification problems. Studies of data cleaning techniques often assume a uniform label noise model, however, which is seldom realized in practice. Relatively little is understood, as to how the natural label noise distribution can be measured or simulated. Using email spam-filtering data, we demonstrate that class noise can have substantial content specific bias. We also demonstrate that noise detection techniques based on classifier confidence tend to identify instances that human assessors are likely to label in error. We show that genre modeling can be very informative in identifying potential areas of mislabeling. Moreover, we are able to show that genre decomposition can also be used to substantially improve spam filtering accuracy, with our results outperforming the best published figures for the trec05-p1 and ceas-2008 benchmark collections.
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