Alternating Decision Forests

Samuel Schulter, Paul Wohlhart, Christian Leistner, Amir Saffari, Peter M. Roth, Horst Bischof; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2013, pp. 508-515


This paper introduces a novel classification method termed Alternating Decision Forests (ADFs), which formulates the training of Random Forests explicitly as a global loss minimization problem. During training, the losses are minimized via keeping an adaptive weight distribution over the training samples, similar to Boosting methods. In order to keep the method as flexible and general as possible, we adopt the principle of employing gradient descent in function space, which allows to minimize arbitrary losses. Contrary to Boosted Trees, in our method the loss minimization is an inherent part of the tree growing process, thus allowing to keep the benefits of common Random Forests, such as, parallel processing. We derive the new classifier and give a discussion and evaluation on standard machine learning data sets. Furthermore, we show how ADFs can be easily integrated into an object detection application. Compared to both, standard Random Forests and Boosted Trees, ADFs give better performance in our experiments, while yielding more compact models in terms of tree depth.

Related Material

author = {Schulter, Samuel and Wohlhart, Paul and Leistner, Christian and Saffari, Amir and Roth, Peter M. and Bischof, Horst},
title = {Alternating Decision Forests},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2013}