Improving Multiclass Text Classification with the Support Vector Machine

Unknown author (2001-10-16)

We compare Naive Bayes and Support Vector Machines on the task of multiclass text classification. Using a variety of approaches to combine the underlying binary classifiers, we find that SVMs substantially outperform Naive Bayes. We present full multiclass results on two well-known text data sets, including the lowest error to date on both data sets. We develop a new indicator of binary performance to show that the SVM's lower multiclass error is a result of its improved binary performance. Furthermore, we demonstrate and explore the surprising result that one-vs-all classification performs favorably compared to other approaches even though it has no error-correcting properties.