# Is “discriminant function” a synonym for “classification function”

"discriminant function" and "classification function" are two terms used in literature to denote a a function that maps a feature vector into a discrete class variable.

I presume "discriminant function" has it's origin in statistics and "classification function" in machine learning. Is there any reason these terms cant be used as synonyms?

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## 1 Answer

I believe (and someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that "classification function" can be used much more broadly - for any function that does classification, whether from logistic regression, discriminant analysis or whatever. "Discriminant function" is restricted to those from discriminant analysis.

At least, that's how I've seen them used.

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What to you mean by "those from discriminant analysis"? –  entropy Jan 6 '13 at 20:34
Functions from discriminant analysis –  Peter Flom Jan 6 '13 at 20:50