Class: CompactClassificationDiscriminant

Predict classification


label = predict(obj,X)
[label,score] = predict(obj,X)
[label,score,cost] = predict(obj,X)


label = predict(obj,X) returns a vector of predicted class labels for a matrix X, based on obj, a trained full or compact classifier.

[label,score] = predict(obj,X) returns a matrix of scores (posterior probabilities).

[label,score,cost] = predict(obj,X) returns a matrix of costs; label is the vector of minimal costs for each row of cost.

Input Arguments


Discriminant analysis classifier of class ClassificationDiscriminant or CompactClassificationDiscriminant, typically constructed with fitcdiscr.


Matrix where each row represents an observation, and each column represents a predictor. The number of columns in X must equal the number of predictors in obj.

Output Arguments


Vector of class labels of the same type as the response data used in training obj. Each entry of labels corresponds to a predicted class label for the corresponding row of X; see Predicted Class Label.


Numeric matrix of size N-by-K, where N is the number of observations (rows) in X, and K is the number of classes (in obj.ClassNames). score(i,j) is the posterior probability that row i of X is of class j; see Posterior Probability.


Matrix of expected costs of size N-by-K. cost(i,j) is the cost of classifying row i of X as class j. See Cost.


Posterior Probability

The posterior probability that a point z belongs to class j is the product of the prior probability and the multivariate normal density. The density function of the multivariate normal with mean μj and covariance Σj at a point z is


where |Σk| is the determinant of Σk, and Σk1 is the inverse matrix.

Let P(k) represent the prior probability of class k. Then the posterior probability that an observation x is of class k is


where P(x) is a normalization constant, the sum over k of P(x|k)P(k).

Prior Probability

The prior probability is one of three choices:

  • 'uniform' — The prior probability of class k is one over the total number of classes.

  • 'empirical' — The prior probability of class k is the number of training samples of class k divided by the total number of training samples.

  • Custom — The prior probability of class k is the kth element of the prior vector. See fitcdiscr.

After creating a classifier obj, you can set the prior using dot notation:

obj.Prior = v;

where v is a vector of positive elements representing the frequency with which each element occurs. You do not need to retrain the classifier when you set a new prior.


The matrix of expected costs per observation is defined in Cost.

Predicted Class Label

predict classifies so as to minimize the expected classification cost:



  • y^ is the predicted classification.

  • K is the number of classes.

  • P^(k|x) is the posterior probability of class k for observation x.

  • C(y|k) is the cost of classifying an observation as y when its true class is k.


Examine predictions for a few rows in the Fisher iris data:

load fisheriris
obj = fitcdiscr(meas,species);
X = meas(99:102,:); % take four rows
[label score cost] = predict(obj,X)

label = 

score =
    0.0000    1.0000    0.0000
    0.0000    0.9999    0.0001
    0.0000    0.0000    1.0000
    0.0000    0.0011    0.9989

cost =
    1.0000    0.0000    1.0000
    1.0000    0.0001    0.9999
    1.0000    1.0000    0.0000
    1.0000    0.9989    0.0011
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