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Human Classification Behaviour Revisited by Machine Learning




We attempt to understand visual classication in humans using both psychophysical and machine learning techniques. Frontal views of human faces were used for a gender classication task. Human subjects classied the faces and their gender judgment, reaction time (RT) and condence rating (CR) were recorded for each face. RTs are longer for incorrect answers than for correct ones, high CRs are correlated with low classication errors and RTs decrease as the CRs increase. This results suggest that patterns difcult to classify need more computation by the brain than patterns easy to classify. Hyperplane learning algorithms such as Support Vector Machines (SVM), Relevance Vector Machines (RVM), Prototype learners (Prot) and K-means learners (Kmean) were used on the same classication task using the Principal Components of the texture and oweld representation of the faces. The classication performance of the learning algorithms was estimated using the face database with the true gender of the faces as labels, and also with the gender estimated by the subjects. Kmean yield a classication performance close to humans while SVM and RVM are much better. This surprising behaviour may be due to the fact that humans are trained on real faces during their lifetime while they were here tested on articial ones, while the algorithms were trained and tested on the same set of stimuli. We then correlated the human responses to the distance of the stimuli to the separating hyperplane (SH) of the learning algorithms. On the whole stimuli far from the SH are classied more accurately, faster and with higher condence than those near to the SH if we pool data across all our subjects and stimuli. We also nd three noteworthy results. First, SVMs and RVMs can learn to classify faces using the subjects' labels but perform much better when using the true labels. Second, correlating the average response of humans (classication error, RT or CR) with the distance to the SH on a face-by-face basis using Spearman's rank correlation coefcients shows that RVMs recreate human performance most closely in every respect. Third, the mean-of-class prototype, its popularity in neuroscience notwithstanding, is the least human-like classier in all cases examined.

Author(s): Graf, ABA. and Wichmann, FA. and Bülthoff, HH. and Schölkopf, B.
Volume: 7
Pages: 134
Year: 2004
Month: Febuary
Day: 0
Editors: B{\"u}lthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann

Department(s): Empirical Inference
Bibtex Type: Poster (poster)

Digital: 0
Event Name: 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004)
Event Place: T{\"u}bingen, Germany
Organization: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
School: Biologische Kybernetik

Links: Web


  title = {Human Classification Behaviour Revisited by Machine Learning},
  author = {Graf, ABA. and Wichmann, FA. and B{\"u}lthoff, HH. and Sch{\"o}lkopf, B.},
  volume = {7},
  pages = {134},
  editors = {B{\"u}lthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann},
  organization = {Max-Planck-Gesellschaft},
  school = {Biologische Kybernetik},
  month = feb,
  year = {2004},
  month_numeric = {2}