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REx: An Efficient Rule Generator

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Abstract:

This paper describes an efficient algorithm REx for generating symbolic rules from artificial neural network (ANN). Classification rules are sought in many areas from automatic knowledge acquisition to data mining and ANN rule extraction. This is because classification rules possess some attractive features. They are explicit, understandable and verifiable by domain experts, and can be modified, extended and passed on as modular knowledge. REx exploits the first order information in the data and finds shortest sufficient conditions for a rule of a class that can differentiate it from patterns of other classes. It can generate concise and perfect rules in the sense that the error rate of the rules is not worse than the inconsistency rate found in the original data. An important feature of rule extraction algorithm, REx, is its recursive nature. They are concise, comprehensible, order insensitive and do not involve any weight values. Extensive experimental studies on several benchmark classification problems, such as breast cancer, iris, season, and golf-playing, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach with good generalization ability.

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