I have several classifiers $f_i\ (i=1, \cdots, N)$ and calculated performance measures on multiple domains $(D)$ for each. Thus, there are $N \times D$ values.

I want to find out (increasing complexity):

  1. Is a particular classifier significantly better than the baseline, given all domains?
  2. Is there a particular classifier which is better than any of the others, given all domains?
  3. Is there a ranking of classifiers $f_i > f_k > f_l >$, where > means “significantly better”, given all domains?

I cannot assume them to be distributed according to a normal, thus I'm looking for non-parametric tests. From (JAPKOWICZ/SHAH, 2001), I inferred the following procedure:

  1. Perform Friedman's test to determine whether at least one classifier performs significantly better than the others for all domains
  2. If this applies, perform the Nemenyi post-hoc test to identify pairwise “significantly better than” relationships.


  1. Is there any rule of thumb considering the minimum amount of domains required for giving Friedman's / Nemenyi's test sufficient power? Are there other tests better suited for a low number of domains (<5)?
  2. Is feasible to say that classifier $f_i$ is significantly better than any other, if pairwise results $f_i>f_k, f_k>f_j$ or $f_k = f_j$, where = means “not significant better”, exist?
  3. Is it feasible to infer such a ranking using pairwise Nemenyi tests? Is there a need to perform Friedman's test on subsets?

Please note that this question is related to another, unanswered one. A


with k algorithms and n domains (datasets):

1 - You can use chi-square Table with k-1 degrees of freedom for large n (usually > 15) and k (usually > 5).

2 - In the case of smaller n and k, the chi-square approximation is imprecise and a table lookup is advised from tables of Friedman values approximated specifically for the Friedman test. Minimal values for n and k is 3;

recommended read: Evaluating Learning Algorithms - A classification perspective 2011


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