The classification accuracy of a -nearest neighbor ( NN) classifier is largely dependent on the choice of the number of nearest neighbors denoted by . However, given a data set, it is a tedious task to optimize the performance of NN by tuning . Moreover, the performance of NN degrades in the presence of class imbalance, a situation characterized by disparate representation from different classes. We aim to address both the issues in this paper and propose a variant of NN called the Adaptive NN (Ada- NN). The Ada- NN classifier uses the density and distribution of the neighborhood of a test point and learns a suitable point-specific for it with the help of artificial neural networks. We further improve our proposal by replacing the neural network with a heuristic learning method guided by an indicator of the local density of a test point and using information about its neighboring training points. The proposed heuristic learning algorithm preserves the simplicity of NN without incurring serious computational burden. We call this method Ada- NN2. Ada- NN and Ada- NN2 perform very competitive when compared with NN, five of NN's state-of-the-art variants, and other popular classifiers. Furthermore, we propose a class-based global weighting scheme (Global Imbalance Handling Scheme or GIHS) to compensate for the effect of class imbalance. We perform extensive experiments on a wide variety of data sets to establish the improvement shown by Ada- NN and Ada- NN2 using the proposed GIHS, when compared with NN, and its 12 variants specifically tailored for imbalanced classification.

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