Combining Model-based and Discriminative Approaches in a Modular Two-stage Classification System: Application to Isolated Handwritten Digit Recognition


  • Jonathan Milgram
  • Robert Sabourin
  • Mohamed Cheriet


The motivation of this work is based on two key observations. First, the classification algorithms can be separated into two main categories: discriminative and model-based approaches. Second, two types of patterns can generate problems: ambiguous patterns and outliers. While, the first approach tries to minimize the first type of error, but cannot deal effectively with outliers, the second approach, which is based on the development of a model for each class, make the outlier detection possible, but are not sufficiently discriminant. Thus, we propose to combine these two different approaches in a modular two-stage classification system embedded in a probabilistic framework. In the first stage we pre-estimate the posterior probabilities with a model-based approach and we re-estimate only the highest probabilities with appropriate Support Vector Classifiers (SVC) in the second stage. Another advantage of this combination is to reduce the principal burden of SVC, the processing time necessary to make a decision and to open the way to use SVC in classification problem with a large number of classes. Finally, the first experiments on the benchmark database MNIST have shown that our dynamic classification process allows to maintain the accuracy of SVCs, while decreasing complexity by a factor 8.7 and making the outlier rejection available.


Classifier Combination, Support Vector Classifier, Model-based Approach, Outlier Detection, Error-Reject Tradeoff, Classifying Cost, Isolated Handwritten Digit Recognition




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