PAC-Bayesian AUC classification and scoring

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

Bibtex Metadata Paper Reviews Supplemental


James Ridgway, Pierre Alquier, Nicolas Chopin, Feng Liang


We develop a scoring and classification procedure based on the PAC-Bayesian approach and the AUC (Area Under Curve) criterion. We focus initially on the class of linear score functions. We derive PAC-Bayesian non-asymptotic bounds for two types of prior for the score parameters: a Gaussian prior, and a spike-and-slab prior; the latter makes it possible to perform feature selection. One important advantage of our approach is that it is amenable to powerful Bayesian computational tools. We derive in particular a Sequential Monte Carlo algorithm, as an efficient method which may be used as a gold standard, and an Expectation-Propagation algorithm, as a much faster but approximate method. We also extend our method to a class of non-linear score functions, essentially leading to a nonparametric procedure, by considering a Gaussian process prior.