Conference paper Open Access

Re-Assessing the "Classify and Count" Quantification Method

Moreo, Alejandro; Sebastiani, Fabrizio

Learning to quantify (a.k.a. quantification) is a task concerned with training unbiased estimators of class prevalence via supervised learning. This task originated with the observation that “Classify and Count” (CC), the trivial method of obtaining class prevalence estimates, is often a biased estimator, and thus delivers suboptimal quantification accuracy. Fol- lowing this observation, several methods for learning to quantify have been proposed and have been shown to outperform CC. In this work we contend that previous works have failed to use properly optimised versions of CC. We thus reassess the real merits of CC and its variants, and argue that, while still inferior to some cutting-edge methods, they deliver near-state-of-the- art accuracy once (a) hyperparameter optimisation is performed, and (b) this optimisation is performed by using a truly quantification-oriented evaluation protocol. Experiments on three publicly available binary sentiment classification datasets support these conclusions.

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