Abstract. The growing amount of available information and its distributed and heterogeneous nature has a major impact on the field of data mining. In this paper, we propose a framework for parallel and distributed boosting algorithms intended for efficient integrating specialized classifiers learned over very large, distributed and possibly heterogeneous databases that cannot fit into main computer memory. Boosting is a popular technique for constructing highly accurate classifier ensembles, where the classifiers are trained serially, with the weights on the training instances adaptively set according to the performance of previous classifiers. Our parallel boosting algorithm is designed for tightly coupled shared memory systems with a small number of processors, with an objective of achieving the maximal prediction accuracy in fewer iterations than boosting on a single processor. After all processors learn classifiers in parallel at each boosting round, they are combined according to the confidence of their prediction. Our distributed boosting algorithm is proposed primarily for learning from several disjoint data sites when the data cannot be merged together, although it can also be used for parallel learning where a massive data set is partitioned into several disjoint subsets for a more efficient analysis. At each boosting round, the proposed method combines classifiers from all sites and creates a classifier ensemble on each site. The final classifier is constructed as an ensemble of all classifier ensembles built on disjoint data sets. The new proposed methods applied to several data sets have shown that parallel boosting can achieve the same or even better prediction accuracy considerably faster than the standard sequential boosting. Results from the experiments also indicate that distributed boosting has comparable or slightly improved classification accuracy over standard boosting, while requiring much less memory and computational time since it uses smaller data sets
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