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J Biomed Inform. 2013 Dec;46(6):1125-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2013.08.007. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Learning classification models from multiple experts.

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Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh, United States. Electronic address:


Building classification models from clinical data using machine learning methods often relies on labeling of patient examples by human experts. Standard machine learning framework assumes the labels are assigned by a homogeneous process. However, in reality the labels may come from multiple experts and it may be difficult to obtain a set of class labels everybody agrees on; it is not uncommon that different experts have different subjective opinions on how a specific patient example should be classified. In this work we propose and study a new multi-expert learning framework that assumes the class labels are provided by multiple experts and that these experts may differ in their class label assessments. The framework explicitly models different sources of disagreements and lets us naturally combine labels from different human experts to obtain: (1) a consensus classification model representing the model the group of experts converge to, as well as, and (2) individual expert models. We test the proposed framework by building a model for the problem of detection of the Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) where examples are labeled by three experts. We show that our framework is superior to multiple baselines (including standard machine learning framework in which expert differences are ignored) and that our framework leads to both improved consensus and individual expert models.


Classification learning with multiple experts; Consensus models

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