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Train Support Vector Machines Using Classification Learner App

This example shows how to construct support vector machine (SVM) classifiers in the Classification Learner app, using the ionosphere data set that contains two classes. You can use a support vector machine (SVM) with two or more classes in Classification Learner. An SVM classifies data by finding the best hyperplane that separates all data points of one class from those of another class. In the ionosphere data, the response variable is categorical with two levels: g represents good radar returns, and b represents bad radar returns.

  1. In MATLAB®, load the ionosphere data set and define some variables from the data set to use for a classification.

    load ionosphere
    ionosphere = array2table(X);
    ionosphere.Group = Y;

    Alternatively, you can load the ionosphere data set and keep the X and Y data as separate variables.

  2. On the Apps tab, in the Machine Learning and Deep Learning group, click Classification Learner.

  3. On the Classification Learner tab, in the File section, click New Session > From Workspace.

    In the New Session dialog box, select the table ionosphere from the Data Set Variable list. Observe that the app has selected response and predictor variables based on their data type. The response variable Group has two levels. All the other variables are predictors.

    Alternatively, if you kept your predictor data X and response variable Y as two separate variables, you can first select the matrix X from the Data Set Variable list. Then, under Response, click the From workspace option button and select Y from the list. The Y variable is the same as the Group variable.

  4. Click Start Session.

    Classification Learner creates a scatter plot of the data.

  5. Use the scatter plot to visualize which variables are useful for predicting the response. Select different variables in the X- and Y-axis controls. Observe which variables separate the class colors most clearly.

  6. To create a selection of SVM models, on the Classification Learner tab, in the Model Type section, click the down arrow to expand the list of classifiers, and under Support Vector Machines, click All SVMs.

    Then click Train.


    If you have Parallel Computing Toolbox™ then the first time you click Train you see a dialog while the app opens a parallel pool of workers. After the pool opens, you can train multiple classifiers at once and continue working.

    Classification Learner trains one of each nonoptimizable SVM classification option in the gallery, and highlights the best score. The app outlines in a box the Accuracy score of the best model.

  7. Select a model in the History list to view the results. Examine the scatter plot for the trained model and try plotting different predictors. Misclassified points are shown as an X.

  8. To inspect the accuracy of the predictions in each class, on the Classification Learner tab, in the Plots section, click Confusion Matrix. View the matrix of true class and predicted class results.

  9. Select the other models in the list to compare.

  10. Choose the best model in the History list (the best score is highlighted in a box). To improve the model, try including different features in the model. See if you can improve the model by removing features with low predictive power.

    On the Classification Learner tab, in the Features section, click Feature Selection. In the Feature Selection dialog box, specify predictors to remove from the model, and click Train to train a new model using the new options. Compare results among the classifiers in the History list.

  11. To investigate features to include or exclude, use the parallel coordinates plot. On the Classification Learner tab, in the Plots section, select Parallel Coordinates Plot.

  12. Choose the best model in the History list. To try to improve the model further, try changing SVM settings. On the Classification Learner tab, in the Model Type section, click Advanced. Try changing a setting, then train the new model by clicking Train. For information on settings, see Support Vector Machines.

  13. To export the trained model to the workspace, select the Classification Learner tab and click Export model. See Export Classification Model to Predict New Data.

  14. To examine the code for training this classifier, click Generate Function. For SVM models, see also Generate C Code for Prediction.

Use the same workflow to evaluate and compare the other classifier types you can train in Classification Learner.

To try all the nonoptimizable classifier model presets available for your data set:

  1. Click the arrow on the far right of the Model Type section to expand the list of classifiers.

  2. Click All, then click Train.

To learn about other classifier types, see Train Classification Models in Classification Learner App.

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