A multi-granularity locally optimal prototype-based approach for classification

Xiaowei Gu, Miqing Li

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Prototype-based approaches generally provide better explainability and are widely used for classification. However, the majority of them suffer from system obesity and lack transparency on complex problems. In this paper, a novel classification approach with a multi-layered system structure self-organized from data is proposed. This approach is able to identify local peaks of multi-modal density derived from static data and filter out more representative ones at multiple levels of granularity acting as prototypes. These prototypes are then optimized to their locally optimal positions in the data space and arranged in layers with meaningful dense links in-between to form pyramidal hierarchies based on the respective levels of granularity accordingly. After being primed offline, the constructed classification model is capable of self-developing continuously from streaming data to self-expend its knowledge base. The proposed approach offers higher transparency and is convenient for visualization thanks to the hierarchical nested architecture. Its system identification process is objective, data-driven and free from prior assumptions on data generation model with user- and problem- specific parameters. Its decision-making process follows the “nearest prototype” principle, and is highly explainable and traceable. Numerical examples on a wide range of benchmark problems demonstrate its high performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-183
Number of pages27
JournalInformation Sciences
Early online date13 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Local optimality
  • Multi-granularity
  • Prototype-based
  • Pyramidal hierarchy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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