Challenges in Benchmarking Stream Learning Algorithms with Real-world Data

Vinicius M. A. Souza, Denis M. dos Reis, Andre G. Maletzke, Gustavo E. A. P. A. Batista

Streaming data are increasingly present in real-world applications such as sensor measurements, satellite data feed, stock market, and financial data. The main characteristics of these applications are the online arrival of data observations at high speed and the susceptibility to changes in the data distributions due to the dynamic nature of real environments. The data stream mining community still faces some primary challenges and difficulties related to the comparison and evaluation of new proposals, mainly due to the lack of publicly available non-stationary real-world datasets. The comparison of stream algorithms proposed in the literature is not an easy task, as authors do not always follow the same recommendations, experimental evaluation procedures, datasets, and assumptions. In this paper, we mitigate problems related to the choice of datasets in the experimental evaluation of stream classifiers and drift detectors. To that end, we propose a new public data repository for benchmarking stream algorithms with real-world data. This repository contains the most popular datasets from literature and new datasets related to a highly relevant public health problem that involves the recognition of disease vector insects using optical sensors. The main advantage of these new datasets is the prior knowledge of their characteristics and patterns of changes to evaluate new adaptive algorithm proposals adequately. We also present an in-depth discussion about the characteristics, reasons, and issues that lead to different types of changes in data distribution, as well as a critical review of common problems concerning the current benchmark datasets available in the literature.

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