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Class: ClassificationEnsemble

Classification error by resubstitution


L = resubLoss(ens)
L = resubLoss(ens,Name,Value)


L = resubLoss(ens) returns the resubstitution loss, meaning the loss computed for the data that fitensemble used to create ens.

L = resubLoss(ens,Name,Value) calculates loss with additional options specified by one or more Name,Value pair arguments. You can specify several name-value pair arguments in any order as Name1,Value1,…,NameN,ValueN.

Input Arguments


A classification ensemble created with fitensemble.

Name-Value Pair Arguments

Specify optional comma-separated pairs of Name,Value arguments. Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name must appear inside single quotes (' '). You can specify several name and value pair arguments in any order as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.


Indices of weak learners in the ensemble ranging from 1 to NumTrained. resubLoss uses only these learners for calculating loss.

Default: 1:NumTrained


Loss function, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'LossFun' and a built-in, loss-function name or function handle.

  • The following lists available loss functions. Specify one using its corresponding character vector.

    'binodeviance'Binomial deviance
    'classiferror'Classification error
    'mincost'Minimal expected misclassification cost (for classification scores that are posterior probabilities)

    'mincost' is appropriate for classification scores that are posterior probabilities.

    • Bagged and subspace ensembles return posterior probabilities by default (ens.Method is 'Bag' or 'Subspace').

    • If the ensemble method is 'AdaBoostM1', 'AdaBoostM2', GentleBoost, or 'LogitBoost', then, to use posterior probabilities as classification scores, you must specify the double-logit score transform by entering

      ens.ScoreTransform = 'doublelogit';

    • For all other ensemble methods, the software does not support posterior probabilities as classification scores.

  • Specify your own function using function handle notation.

    Suppose that n be the number of observations in X and K be the number of distinct classes (numel(ens.ClassNames), ens is the input model). Your function must have this signature

    lossvalue = lossfun(C,S,W,Cost)

    • The output argument lossvalue is a scalar.

    • You choose the function name (lossfun).

    • C is an n-by-K logical matrix with rows indicating which class the corresponding observation belongs. The column order corresponds to the class order in ens.ClassNames.

      Construct C by setting C(p,q) = 1 if observation p is in class q, for each row. Set all other elements of row p to 0.

    • S is an n-by-K numeric matrix of classification scores. The column order corresponds to the class order in ens.ClassNames. S is a matrix of classification scores, similar to the output of predict.

    • W is an n-by-1 numeric vector of observation weights. If you pass W, the software normalizes them to sum to 1.

    • Cost is a K-by-K numeric matrix of misclassification costs. For example, Cost = ones(K) - eye(K) specifies a cost of 0 for correct classification, and 1 for misclassification.

    Specify your function using 'LossFun',@lossfun.

For more details on loss functions, see Classification Loss.

Default: 'classiferror'


Character vector representing the meaning of the output L:

  • 'ensemble'L is a scalar value, the loss for the entire ensemble.

  • 'individual'L is a vector with one element per trained learner.

  • 'cumulative'L is a vector in which element J is obtained by using learners 1:J from the input list of learners.

Default: 'ensemble'

Output Arguments


Classification loss, by default the fraction of misclassified data. L can be a vector, and can mean different things, depending on the name-value pair settings.


Classification Loss

Classification loss functions measure the predictive inaccuracy of classification models. When comparing the same type of loss among many models, lower loss indicates a better predictive model.

Suppose that:

  • L is the weighted average classification loss.

  • n is the sample size.

  • For binary classification:

    • yj is the observed class label. The software codes it as –1 or 1 indicating the negative or positive class, respectively.

    • f(Xj) is the raw classification score for observation (row) j of the predictor data X.

    • mj = yjf(Xj) is the classification score for classifying observation j into the class corresponding to yj. Positive values of mj indicate correct classification and do not contribute much to the average loss. Negative values of mj indicate incorrect classification and contribute to the average loss.

  • For algorithms that support multiclass classification (that is, K ≥ 3):

    • yj* is a vector of K – 1 zeros, and a 1 in the position corresponding to the true, observed class yj. For example, if the true class of the second observation is the third class and K = 4, then y*2 = [0 0 1 0]′. The order of the classes corresponds to the order in the ClassNames property of the input model.

    • f(Xj) is the length K vector of class scores for observation j of the predictor data X. The order of the scores corresponds to the order of the classes in the ClassNames property of the input model.

    • mj = yj*f(Xj). Therefore, mj is the scalar classification score that the model predicts for the true, observed class.

  • The weight for observation j is wj. The software normalizes the observation weights so that they sum to the corresponding prior class probability. The software also normalizes the prior probabilities so they sum to 1. Therefore,


The supported loss functions are:

  • Binomial deviance, specified using 'LossFun','binodeviance'. Its equation is


  • Exponential loss, specified using 'LossFun','exponential'. Its equation is


  • Classification error, specified using 'LossFun','classiferror'. It is the weighted fraction of misclassified observations, with equation


    y^j is the class label corresponding to the class with the maximal posterior probability. I{x} is the indicator function.

  • Hinge loss, specified using 'LossFun','hinge'. Its equation is


  • Logit loss, specified using 'LossFun','logit'. Its equation is


  • Minimal cost, specified using 'LossFun','mincost'. The software computes the weighted minimal cost using this procedure for observations j = 1,...,n:

    1. Estimate the 1-by-K vector of expected classification costs for observation j


      f(Xj) is the column vector of class posterior probabilities for binary and multiclass classification. C is the cost matrix the input model stores in the property Cost.

    2. For observation j, predict the class label corresponding to the minimum, expected classification cost:


    3. Using C, identify the cost incurred (cj) for making the prediction.

    The weighted, average, minimum cost loss is


  • Quadratic loss, specified using 'LossFun','quadratic'. Its equation is


This figure compares some of the loss functions for one observation over m (some functions are normalized to pass through [0,1]).


expand all

Load Fisher's iris data set.

load fisheriris

Boost 100 classification trees using AdaBoostM2.

ens = fitensemble(meas,species,'AdaBoostM2',100,'Tree');

Estimate the resubstitution classification error.

loss = resubLoss(ens)
loss =


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