In Defense of One-Vs-All Classification

Ryan Rifkin, Aldebaro Klautau; 5(Jan):101--141, 2004.


We consider the problem of multiclass classification. Our main thesis is that a simple "one-vs-all" scheme is as accurate as any other approach, assuming that the underlying binary classifiers are well-tuned regularized classifiers such as support vector machines. This thesis is interesting in that it disagrees with a large body of recent published work on multiclass classification. We support our position by means of a critical review of the existing literature, a substantial collection of carefully controlled experimental work, and theoretical arguments.