For a logistic regression classifier, I create a roc curve by variation of the threshold on the output probability.

Question: can I create an additional ROC curve with 5% rejection rate based on the classification probability, by rejection of the samples closest to the threshold? This means that every point on the ROC will be based on a different not rejected samples. If yes, where I can find a reference paper about it? If no, what is the proper procedure, and where I can read about it?

Lately, someone suggested that instead of rejecting by 5% of the testing set, I should reject by a threshold which is extracted for 5% of the training set. I am not sure that the difference is important but if it is a standard procedure, I would be happy to find a reference of it.

  • $\begingroup$ I know it's not exactly what you want, but you can take a look at a paper about accuracy-rejection curve $\endgroup$ May 1, 2020 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I am familiar with it, thanks $\endgroup$ May 2, 2020 at 7:52
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    $\begingroup$ This paper might be of interest, they use a three way split (training, validation, test) for training the model, obtaining thresholds and evaluating the models, respectively. $\endgroup$
    – A Person
    May 7, 2020 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @APerson, thanks for the paper. It is related very closely to the topic and in fact, what it suggests is similar to what I have proposed. Nevertheless, I think that the writer did not do a very good job. Nevertheless, probably, it is as far as the literature goes... $\endgroup$ May 7, 2020 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ What are you trying to accomplish with this re-drawn ROC curve? By my reading, the paper linked by @APerson uses the standard ROC curve to "reject" cases near the cutoff for further testing, based on relative costs of true and false classifications and the cost of the further testing. That doesn't seem to be exactly what you had in mind. In general, one worries about losing information by omitting data from the model, which is what would happen with a re-drawn ROC curve. What is the corresponding advantage that you expect to gain by this procedure? $\endgroup$
    – EdM
    May 9, 2020 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


I have found partial answer to my questions in Tortorella, Francesco. "A ROC-based reject rule for dichotomizers." Pattern Recognition Letters 26.2 (2005): 167-180. (suggested by @Aperson)

Here, for every point in the ROC curve, we define two thresholds, $t_1$, $t_2$ around the original threshold $t_{opt}$ and reject all the samples within the created region. This way allows improving the performance in all the point of the ROC curve.

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Only question left is how to define those $t_1=f(t_{opt})$, $t_2=f(t_{opt})$? It seems that there are many different ways to define them but all the ways should be defined based on the training set and implemented on the testing set.

  • $\begingroup$ The paper shows how to choose $t_1$ and $t_2$ based on the relative benefits/costs of true/false positives/negatives, corrected for the costs of rejecting true negatives or positives. Relative costs should always be considered when choosing cutoffs; the usual default classification cutoff at p=0.5 implicitly assumes equal costs of either misclassification type. You might also consider different scoring rules or targeted maximum likelihood as ways to improve performance near a cutoff; see this page and links. $\endgroup$
    – EdM
    May 10, 2020 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Table 1 of the cited paper seems to have a misprint, with costs of rejecting positives/negatives, CRP and CRN, interchanged between the correct rows. The formulas in the text seem OK at first glance. $\endgroup$
    – EdM
    May 10, 2020 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ @EdM, I was only looking at the method, did not check the numbers/results. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2020 at 5:03

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