"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?


1 Answer 1


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.

  • $\begingroup$ What to you mean by "those from discriminant analysis"? $\endgroup$
    – entropy
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Functions from discriminant analysis $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 20:50

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