Interpretable Time Series Classification using All-Subsequence Learning and Symbolic Representations in Time and Frequency Domains

12 Aug 2018  ·  Thach Le Nguyen, Severin Gsponer, Iulia Ilie, Georgiana Ifrim ·

The time series classification literature has expanded rapidly over the last decade, with many new classification approaches published each year. The research focus has mostly been on improving the accuracy and efficiency of classifiers, while their interpretability has been somewhat neglected... Classifier interpretability has become a critical constraint for many application domains and the introduction of the 'right to explanation' GDPR EU legislation in May 2018 is likely to further emphasize the importance of explainable learning algorithms. In this work we analyse the state-of-the-art for time series classification, and propose new algorithms that aim to maintain the classifier accuracy and efficiency, but keep interpretability as a key design constraint. We present new time series classification algorithms that advance the state-of-the-art by implementing the following three key ideas: (1) Multiple resolutions of symbolic approximations: we combine symbolic representations obtained using different parameters; (2) Multiple domain representations: we combine symbolic approximations in time (e.g., SAX) and frequency (e.g., SFA) domains; (3) Efficient navigation of a huge symbolic-words space: we adapt a symbolic sequence classifier named SEQL, to make it work with multiple domain representations (e.g., SAX-SEQL, SFA-SEQL), and use its greedy feature selection strategy to effectively filter the best features for each representation. We show that a multi-resolution multi-domain linear classifier, SAX-SFA-SEQL, achieves a similar accuracy to the state-of-the-art COTE ensemble, and to a recent deep learning method (FCN), but uses a fraction of the time required by either COTE or FCN. We discuss the accuracy, efficiency and interpretability of our proposed algorithms. To further analyse the interpretability aspect of our classifiers, we present a case study on an ecology benchmark. read more

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