Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Yanqing Zhang


As information technology advances, the demands for developing a reliable and highly accurate predictive model from many domains are increasing. Traditional classification algorithms can be limited in their performance on highly imbalanced data sets. In this dissertation, we study two common problems when training data is imbalanced, and propose effective algorithms to solve them.

Firstly, we investigate the problem in building a multi-class classification model from imbalanced class distribution. We develop an effective technique to improve the performance of the model by formulating the problem as a multi-class SVM with an objective to maximize G-mean value. A ramp loss function is used to simplify and solve the problem. Experimental results on multiple real-world datasets confirm that our new method can effectively solve the multi-class classification problem when the datasets are highly imbalanced.

Secondly, we explore the problem in learning a global classification model from distributed data sources with privacy constraints. In this problem, not only data sources have different class distributions but combining data into one central data is also prohibited. We propose a privacy-preserving framework for building a global SVM from distributed data sources. Our new framework avoid constructing a global kernel matrix by mapping non-linear inputs to a linear feature space and then solve a distributed linear SVM from these virtual points. Our method can solve both imbalance and privacy problems while achieving the same level of accuracy as regular SVM.

Finally, we extend our framework to handle high-dimensional data by utilizing Generalized Multiple Kernel Learning to select a sparse combination of features and kernels. This new model produces a smaller set of features, but yields much higher accuracy.