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How can I plot a confusion matrix for a multi-class or non-binary classification problem?

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I want to make a plot similar to the confusion matrix created in the Classification Learner app. This can make a confusion matrix for a multi-class or non-binary classification problem. In addition, it can plot things such as a True Positive or False Negative rates.
How can I do this?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 5 Jul 2017
Similar to the binary or two-class problem, this can be done using the "plotconfusion" function. By default, this command will also plot the True Positive, False Negative, Positive Predictive, and False Discovery rates in they grey-colored boxes. Please refer to the following example:
targetsVector = [1 2 1 1 3 2]; % True classes
outputsVector = [1 3 1 2 3 1]; % Predicted classes
% Convert this data to a [numClasses x 6] matrix
targets = zeros(3,6);
outputs = zeros(3,6);
targetsIdx = sub2ind(size(targets), targetsVector, 1:6);
outputsIdx = sub2ind(size(outputs), outputsVector, 1:6);
targets(targetsIdx) = 1;
outputs(outputsIdx) = 1;
% Plot the confusion matrix for a 3-class problem
The class labels can be customized by setting that 'XTickLabel' and 'YTickLabel' properties of the axis:
h = gca;
h.XTickLabel = {'Class A','Class B','Class C',''};
h.YTickLabel = {'Class A','Class B','Class C',''};
h.YTickLabelRotation = 90;


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Ivan Abraham
Ivan Abraham on 21 Jun 2017
The classification learner app plots the figure with proper class labels (i.e strings too). Is it possible to do the same with plotconfusion?
On the other hand given a vector of targets and outputs (i.e. of the cell type with strings for class labels) the confusionmat command creates a confusion matrix; how can we plot that matrix like MATLAB does? I suspect it should be possible since internally plotconfusion should generate the confusion matrix at some point.
Michael Abboud
Michael Abboud on 6 Jul 2017
I have updated the above answer to better indicate that the 'TargetsVector' contains the true class labels.
I also included a quick example in the answer showing how to add strings as a name for each class, as I think that is a great easy way to make the plot more easily interpretable
Munshida P
Munshida P on 13 Feb 2020
% Load Image dataset
faceDatabase = imageSet('facedatabaseatt','recursive');
%splitting into training and testing sets
[training,test] = partition(faceDatabase,[0.8 0.2]);
% Extract HOG Features for training set
featureCount = 1;
for i=1:size(training,2)
for j = 1:training(i).Count
trainingFeatures(featureCount,:) = extractHOGFeatures(read(training(i),j));
% imshow(read(training(i),j));
trainingLabel{featureCount} = training(i).Description;
featureCount = featureCount + 1;
personIndex{i} = training(i).Description;
% Create 40 class classifier
faceClassifier = fitcknn(trainingFeatures,trainingLabel);
for person=1:40
for j = 1:test(person).Count
queryImage = read(test(person),j);
queryFeatures = extractHOGFeatures(queryImage);
actualLabel = predict(faceClassifier,queryFeatures);
% Map back to training set to find identity
%booleanIndex = strcmp(actualLabel, personIndex);
%integerIndex = find(booleanIndex);
if isempty(al)==0
Sir, how to plot the confusion matrix of the below code?

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More Answers (2)

David Franco
David Franco on 23 Jan 2018
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 16 Mar 2018
Implementation code:
Confusion Matrix
function [] = confusion_matrix(T,Y)
M = size(unique(T),2);
N = size(T,2);
targets = zeros(M,N);
outputs = zeros(M,N);
targetsIdx = sub2ind(size(targets), T, 1:N);
outputsIdx = sub2ind(size(outputs), Y, 1:N);
targets(targetsIdx) = 1;
outputs(outputsIdx) = 1;
% Plot the confusion matrix


Anmol Pardeshi
Anmol Pardeshi on 30 Nov 2018
is the plotconfusion function available in the normal versions of MATLAB or does it need to have some special toolbox to be attached to the normal version. I have a normal version and it throws an error at the line where the function is written & the error says that undefined funciton.

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Fatai Anifowose
Fatai Anifowose on 28 Aug 2019
I am trying to use the "plotconfusion" function in my code but it took a very long time until MATLAB crashed.
What could be the reason for this? I have a high end workstation so I would not expect it to be a memory issue.
Thanks for your help.


Narmada Herath
Narmada Herath on 28 Aug 2019
Do you have a crash log resulting from the crash? I suggest contacting MathWorks Technical Support at
who may be able to assist further.

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