Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10 (NIPS 1997)
Holger Schwenk, Yoshua Bengio
"Boosting" is a general method for improving the performance of any learning algorithm that consistently generates classifiers which need to perform only slightly better than random guessing. A recently proposed and very promising boosting algorithm is AdaBoost . It has been ap(cid:173) plied with great success to several benchmark machine learning problems using rather simple learning algorithms , and decision trees [1, 2, 6]. In this paper we use AdaBoost to improve the performances of neural networks. We compare training methods based on sampling the training set and weighting the cost function. Our system achieves about 1.4% error on a data base of online handwritten digits from more than 200 writers. Adaptive boosting of a multi-layer network achieved 1.5% error on the UCI Letters and 8.1 % error on the UCI satellite data set.