Constructing a decision tree from data with hierarchical class labels

Yen Liang Chen, Hsiao Wei Hu, Kwei Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Most decision tree classifiers are designed to classify the data with categorical or Boolean class labels. Unfortunately, many practical classification problems concern data with class labels that are naturally organized as a hierarchical structure, such as test scores. In the hierarchy, the ranges in the upper levels are less specific but easier to predict, while the ranges in the lower levels are more specific but harder to predict. To build a decision tree from this kind of data, we must consider how to classify data so that the class label can be as specific as possible while also ensuring the highest possible accuracy of the prediction. To the best of our knowledge, no previous research has considered the induction of decision trees from data with hierarchical class labels. This paper proposes a novel classification algorithm for learning decision tree classifiers from data with hierarchical class labels. Empirical results show that the proposed method is efficient and effective in both prediction accuracy and prediction specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4838-4847
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number3 PART 1
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Classification
  • Decision tree
  • Hierarchical class label


Dive into the research topics of 'Constructing a decision tree from data with hierarchical class labels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this