Deep learning based decision tree ensembles for incomplete medical datasets

Chien Hung Chiu, Shih Wen Ke, Chih Fong Tsai, Wei Chao Lin, Min Wei Huang*, Yi Hsiu Ko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


BACKGROUND: In practice, the collected datasets for data analysis are usually incomplete as some data contain missing attribute values. Many related works focus on constructing specific models to produce estimations to replace the missing values, to make the original incomplete datasets become complete. Another type of solution is to directly handle the incomplete datasets without missing value imputation, with decision trees being the major technique for this purpose. OBJECTIVE: To introduce a novel approach, namely Deep Learning-based Decision Tree Ensembles (DLDTE), which borrows the bounding box and sliding window strategies used in deep learning techniques to divide an incomplete dataset into a number of subsets and learning from each subset by a decision tree, resulting in decision tree ensembles. METHOD: Two medical domain problem datasets contain several hundred feature dimensions with the missing rates of 10% to 50% are used for performance comparison. RESULTS: The proposed DLDTE provides the highest rate of classification accuracy when compared with the baseline decision tree method, as well as two missing value imputation methods (mean and k-nearest neighbor), and the case deletion method. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate the effectiveness of DLDTE for handling incomplete medical datasets with different missing rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Issue number1
Early online date18 05 2023
StatePublished - 05 01 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 - IOS Press. All rights reserved.


  • classifier ensembles
  • Data science
  • decision trees
  • deep learning
  • missing value imputation


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