An ensemble-based incremental learning approach to data fusion

Devi Parikh, Robi Polikar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


This paper introduces Learn++, an ensemble of classifiers based algorithm originally developed for incremental learning, and now adapted for information/data fusion applications. Recognizing the conceptual similarity between incremental learning and data fusion, Learn++ follows an alternative approach to data fusion, i.e., sequentially generating an ensemble of classifiers that specifically seek the most discriminating information from each data set. It was observed that Learn++ based data fusion consistently outperforms a similarly configured ensemble classifier trained on any of the individual data sources across several applications. Furthermore, even if the classifiers trained on individual data sources are fine tuned for the given problem, Learn++ can still achieve a statistically significant improvement by combining them, if the additional data sets carry complementary information. The algorithm can also identify - albeit indirectly - those data sets that do not carry such additional information. Finally, it was shown that the algorithm can consecutively learn both the supplementary novel information coming from additional data of the same source, and the complementary information coming from new data sources without requiring access to any of the previously seen data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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