Feature selection for classification

M. Dash, H. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2832 Scopus citations


Feature selection has been the focus of interest for quite some time and much work has been done. With the creation of huge databases and the consequent requirements for good machine learning techniques, new problems arise and novel approaches to feature selection are in demand. This survey is a comprehensive overview of many existing methods from the 1970's to the present. It identifies four steps of a typical feature selection method, and categorizes the different existing methods in terms of generation procedures and evaluation functions, and reveals hitherto unattempted combinations of generation procedures and evaluation functions. Representative methods are chosen from each category for detailed explanation and discussion via example. Benchmark datasets with different characteristics are used for comparative study. The strengths and weaknesses of different methods are explained. Guidelines for applying feature selection methods are given based on data types and domain characteristics. This survey identifies the future research areas in feature selection, introduces newcomers to this field, and paves the way for practitioners who search for suitable methods for solving domain-specific real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-156
Number of pages26
JournalIntelligent Data Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Classification
  • Feature selection
  • Framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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