This paper presents a comparison of six machine learning (ML) algorithms: GRU-SVM[4], Linear Regression, Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), Nearest Neighbor (NN) search, Softmax Regression, and Support Vector Machine (SVM) on the Wisconsin Diagnostic Breast Cancer (WDBC) dataset [22] by measuring their classification test accuracy and their sensitivity and specificity values. The said dataset consists of features which were computed from digitized images of FNA tests on a breast mass[22]. For the implementation of the ML algorithms, the dataset was partitioned in the following fashion: 70% for training phase, and 30% for the testing phase. The hyper-parameters used for all the classifiers were manually assigned. Results show that all the presented ML algorithms performed well (all exceeded 90% test accuracy) on the classification task. The MLP algorithm stands out among the implemented algorithms with a test accuracy of ~99.04% Lastly, the results are comparable with the findings of the related studies[18 , 23].


  title={On Breast Cancer Detection: An Application of Machine Learning Algorithms on the Wisconsin Diagnostic Dataset},
  author={Agarap, Abien Fred},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1711.07831},


All experiments in this study were conducted on a laptop computer with Intel Core(TM) i5-6300HQ CPU @ 2.30GHz x 4, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB DDR5 GPU.

Figure 1. Training accuracy of the machine learning algorithms on breast cancer detection using WDBC.

Figure 1 shows the training accuracy of the ML algorithms: (1) GRU-SVM finished its training in 2 minutes and 54 seconds with an average training accuracy of 90.6857639%, (2) Linear Regression finished its training in 35 seconds with an average training accuracy of 92.8906257%, (3) MLP finished its training in 28 seconds with an average training accuracy of 96.9286785%, (4) Softmax Regression finished its training in 25 seconds with an average training accuracy of 97.366573%, and (5) L2-SVM finished its training in 14 seconds with an average training accuracy of 97.734375%. There was no recorded training accuracy for Nearest Neighbor search since it does not require any training, as the norm equations (L1 and L2) are directly applied on the dataset to determine the “nearest neighbor” of a given data point p_{i} ∈ p.

Table 1. Summary of experiment results on the machine learning algorithms.

Parameter GRU-SVM Linear Regression MLP L1-NN L2-NN Softmax Regression L2-SVM
Accuracy 93.75% ~96.1% ~99.04% ~93.57% ~94.74% ~97.66% ~96.09%
Data points 384000 384000 512896 171 171 384000 384000
Epochs 3000 3000 3000 1 1 3000 3000
FPR ~16.67% ~10.20% ~1.27% 6.25% ~9.38% ~5.77% ~6.38%
FNR 0 0 ~0.79% ~6.54% ~2.80% 0 ~2.47%
TPR 100% 100% ~99.21% ~93.46% ~97.2% 100% ~97.53%
TNR ~83.33% ~89.8% ~98.73% 93.75% ~90.63% ~94.23% ~93.62%

Table 1 summarizes the results of the experiment on the ML algorithms. The parameters recorded were test accuracy, number of data points (epochs * dataset_size), epochs, false positive rate (FPR), false negative rate (FNR), true positive rate (FPR), and true negative rate (TNR). All code implementations of the algorithms were written using Python with TensorFlow as the machine intelligence library.


Copyright 2017 Abien Fred Agarap

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