The ease of interpretation of a classification model is essential for the task of validating it. Sometimes it is required to clearly explain the classification process of a model’s predictions. Models which are inherently easier to interpret can be effortlessly related to the context of the problem, and their predictions can be, if necessary, ethically and legally evaluated. In this paper, we propose a novel method to generate rule-based classifiers from categorical data that can be readily interpreted. Classifiers are generated using a multi-objective optimization approach focusing on two main objectives: maximizing the performance of the learned classifier and minimizing its number of rules. The multi-objective evolutionary algorithms ENORA
have been adapted to optimize the performance of the classifier based on three different machine learning metrics: accuracy, area under the ROC
curve, and root mean square error. We have extensively compared the generated classifiers using our proposed method with classifiers generated using classical methods such as PART
. The experiments have been conducted in full training mode, in 10-fold cross-validation mode, and in train/test splitting mode. To make results reproducible, we have used the well-known and publicly available datasets Breast Cancer
, Monk’s Problem 2
. After performing an exhaustive statistical test on our results, we conclude that the proposed method is able to generate highly accurate and easy to interpret classification models.
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