Is linear discriminant analysis, specifically Linear Programming Discriminant Analysis (LPDA), supervised learning? Can you provide a valid reference that states so if possible.

My study supervisor and I have been disagreeing about it. I'm convinced linear discriminant analysis, whether Fisher LDA or LPDA, is supervised learning. Both techniques use a labelled set of objects to derive a function which can be used to predict class labels for unlabelled objects.

My study supervisor does not agree, stating that nothing is "learned" when using discriminant analysis.


1 Answer 1


As you say, LDA is supervised. How does your supervisor define "learning"?

But yes, usually it is counted as supervised learning. Reference, e.g. first 2 pages of The Elements of Statistical Learning

  • You can use LDA models for prediction of new cases. (I'd say that implies that something has been learned
  • However, you can also put emphasis on the projection aspect, which may be used in a descriptive rather than a predictive way.

I think we wrote something here.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.