Improving Binary Classification on Text Problems Using Differential Word Features

Date Added: Aug 2009
Format: PDF

The authors describe an efficient technique to weigh word-based features in binary classification tasks and show that it significantly improves classification accuracy on a range of problems. The most common text classification approach uses a document's ngrams (words and short phrases) as its features and assigns feature values equal to their frequency or TFIDF score relative to the training corpus. The approach uses values computed as the product of an ngram's document frequency and the difference of its inverse document frequencies in the positive and negative training sets. While this technique is remarkably easy to implement, it gives a statistically significant improvement over the standard bag-of-words approaches using support vector machines on a range of classification tasks.