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Cooperative co‑evolution for feature selection in Big Data with random feature grouping
Rashid BANM, Ahmed M, Sikos L, Haskell-Dowland PS (Dowland PS)
Journal of Big Data, 7, 107, 2020
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A massive amount of data is generated with the evolution of modern technologies. This high throughput data generation results in Big Data, which consist of many features (attributes). However, irrelevant features may degrade the classification performance of machine learning (ML) algorithms. Feature selection (FS) is a technique used to select a subset of relevant features that represent the dataset. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are widely used search strategies in this domain. A variant of EAs, called cooperative co-evolution (CC), which uses a divide-and-conquer approach, is a good choice for optimization problems. The existing solutions have poor performance because of some limitations, such as not considering feature interactions, dealing with only an even number of features, and decomposing the dataset statically. In this paper, a novel random feature grouping (RFG) has been introduced with its three variants to dynamically decompose Big Data datasets and to ensure the probability of grouping interacting features into the same subcomponent. RFG can be used in CC-based FS processes, hence called Cooperative Co-Evolutionary-Based Feature Selection with Random Feature Grouping (CCFSRFG). Experiment analysis was performed using six widely used ML classifiers on seven different datasets from the UCI ML repository and Princeton University Genomics repository with and without FS. The experimental results indicate that in most cases [i.e., with naïve Bayes (NB), support vector machine (SVM), k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), J48, and random forest (RF)] the proposed CCFSRFG-1 out-performs an existing solution (a CC-based FS, called CCEAFS) and CCFSRFG?2, and also when using all features in terms of accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity.

Rashid BANM, Ahmed M, Sikos L, Haskell-Dowland PS (Dowland PS)