A Transfer-Based Additive LS-SVM Classifier for Handling Missing Data

Guanjin Wang, Jie Lu, Kup Sze Choi, Guangquan Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of a classifier might greatly deteriorate due to missing data. Many different techniques to handle this problem have been developed. In this paper, we solve the problem of missing data using a novel transfer learning perspective and show that when an additive least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) is adopted, model transfer learning can be used to enhance the classification performance on incomplete training datasets. A novel transfer-based additive LS-SVM classifier is accordingly proposed. This method also simultaneously determines the influence of classification errors caused by each incomplete sample using a fast leave-one-out cross validation strategy, as an alternative way to clean the training data to further improve the data quality. The proposed method has been applied to seven public datasets. The experimental results indicate that the proposed method achieves at least comparable, if not better, performance than case deletion, mean imputation, and k-nearest neighbor imputation methods, followed by the standard LS-SVM and support vector machine classifiers. Moreover, a case study on a community healthcare dataset using the proposed method is presented in detail, which particularly highlights the contributions and benefits of the proposed method to this real-world application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-752
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018


  • Additives
  • Classification
  • Computational modeling
  • data cleaning
  • Machine learning
  • Medical services
  • missing data
  • support vector machine (SVM)
  • Support vector machines
  • Task analysis
  • Training
  • transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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