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Naive Bayes Classifier

, 22 Jan 2012 CPOL 57.5K 5.3K 42
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Implementation of Wikipedia’s “Naive Bayes classifier Algorithm”.


This is a simple probabilistic classifier based on the Bayes theorem, from the Wikipedia article. This project contains source files that can be included in any C# project.

Probability Model

The Bayesian Classifier is capable of calculating the most probable output depending on the input. It is possible to add new raw data at runtime and have a better probabilistic classifier. A naive Bayes classifier assumes that the presence (or absence) of a particular feature of a class is unrelated to the presence (or absence) of any other feature, given the class variable. For example, a fruit may be considered to be an apple if it is red, round, and about 4" in diameter. Even if these features depend on each other or upon the existence of other features, a naive Bayes classifier considers all of these properties to independently contribute to the probability that this fruit is an apple.

Bayesian interpretation

In the Bayesian (or epistemological) interpretation, probability measures a degree of belief. Bayes' theorem then links the degree of belief in a proposition before and after accounting for evidence. For example, suppose somebody proposes that a biased coin is twice as likely to land heads than tails. Degree of belief in this might initially be 50%. The coin is then flipped a number of times to collect evidence. Belief may rise to 70% if the evidence supports the proposition.

For proposition A and evidence B,

  • P(A), the prior, is the initial degree of belief in A.
  • P(A | B), the posterior, is the degree of belief having accounted for B.
  • P(B | A) / P(B) represents the support B provides for A.

Sex classification

Problem: classify whether a given person is a male or a female based on the measured features. The features include height, weight, and foot size.


Example training set is shown below.

sex height (feet) weight (lbs) foot size (inches)
male 6 180 12
male 5.92 (5'11") 190 11
male 5.58 (5'7") 170 12
male 5.92 (5'11") 165 10
female 5 100 6
female 5.5 (5'6") 150 8
female 5.42 (5'5") 130 7
female 5.75 (5'9") 150 9

The classifier created from the training set using a Gaussian distribution assumption would be:

sex mean (height) variance (height) mean (weight) variance (weight) mean (foot size) variance (foot size)
male 5.855 3.5033e-02 176.25 1.2292e+02 11.25 9.1667e-01
female 5.4175 9.7225e-02 132.5 5.5833e+02 7.5 1.6667e+00

Let's say we have equiprobable classes so P(male)= P(female) = 0.5. There was no identified reason for making this assumption so it may have been a bad idea. If we determine P(C) based on frequency in the training set, we happen to get the same answer.

Below is a sample to be classified as a male or female.

sex height (feet) weight (lbs) foot size (inches)
sample 6 130 8

We wish to determine which posterior is greater, male or female. For the classification as male, the posterior is given by:

posterior (male) = \frac{P(male) \, p(height | male) \, p(weight | male) \, p(foot size | male)}{evidence}

For the classification as female, the posterior is given by:

posterior (female) = \frac{P(female) \, p(height | female) \, p(weight | female) \, p(foot size | female)}{evidence}

The evidence (also termed normalizing constant) may be calculated since the sum of the posteriors equals one.

evidence = P(male) \, p(height | male) \, p(weight | male) \, p(foot size | male) + P(female) \, p(height | female) \, p(weight | female) \, p(foot size | female)

The evidence may be ignored since it is a positive constant. (Normal distributions are always positive.) We now determine the sex of the sample.

P(male) = 0.5

p(\mbox{height} | \mbox{male}) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi \sigma^2}}\exp\left(\frac{-(6-\mu)^2}{2\sigma^2}\right) \approx 1.5789, where μ = 5.855 and σ2 = 3.5033e − 02 are the parameters of normal distribution which have been previously determined from the training set. Note that a value greater than 1 is OK here – it is a probability density rather the probability, because height is a continuous variable.

p(weight | male) = 5.9881e-06

p(foot size | male) = 1.3112e-3

posterior numerator (male) = their product = 6.1984e-09

P(female) = 0.5

p(height | female) = 2.2346e-1

p(weight | female) = 1.6789e-2

p(foot size | female) = 2.8669e-1

posterior numerator (female) = their product = 5.3778e-04

Since posterior numerator is greater in the female case, we predict the sample is female.

Using the code

DataTable table = new DataTable(); 
table.Columns.Add("Height", typeof(double)); 
table.Columns.Add("Weight", typeof(double)); 
table.Columns.Add("FootSize", typeof(double)); 

//training data. 
table.Rows.Add("male", 6, 180, 12); 
table.Rows.Add("male", 5.92, 190, 11); 
table.Rows.Add("male", 5.58, 170, 12); 
table.Rows.Add("male", 5.92, 165, 10); 
table.Rows.Add("female", 5, 100, 6); 
table.Rows.Add("female", 5.5, 150, 8); 
table.Rows.Add("female", 5.42, 130, 7); 
table.Rows.Add("female", 5.75, 150, 9); 
table.Rows.Add("transgender", 4, 200, 5); 
table.Rows.Add("transgender", 4.10, 150, 8); 
table.Rows.Add("transgender", 5.42, 190, 7); 
table.Rows.Add("transgender", 5.50, 150, 9);

Classifier classifier = new Classifier(); 
//output would be transgender.
Console.WriteLine(classifier.Classify(new double[] { 4, 150, 12 }));

public void TrainClassifier(DataTable table)

    DataTable GaussianDistribution = dataSet.Tables.Add("Gaussian");

    for (int i = 1; i < table.Columns.Count; i++)
        GaussianDistribution.Columns.Add(table.Columns[i].ColumnName + "Mean");
        GaussianDistribution.Columns.Add(table.Columns[i].ColumnName + "Variance");

    //calc data
    var results = (from myRow in table.AsEnumerable()
                   group myRow by myRow.Field<string>(table.Columns[0].ColumnName) into g
                   select new { Name = g.Key, Count = g.Count() }).ToList();

    for (int j = 0; j < results.Count; j++)
        DataRow row = GaussianDistribution.Rows.Add();
        row[0] = results[j].Name;

        int a = 1;
        for (int i = 1; i < table.Columns.Count; i++)
            row[a] = Helper.Mean(SelectRows(table, i, string.Format("{0} = '{1}'", 
                                 table.Columns[0].ColumnName, results[j].Name)));
            row[++a] = Helper.Variance(SelectRows(table, i, 
                       string.Format("{0} = '{1}'", 
                       table.Columns[0].ColumnName, results[j].Name)));

public string Classify(double[] obj)
    Dictionary<string,> score = new Dictionary<string,>();

    var results = (from myRow in dataSet.Tables[0].AsEnumerable()
                   group myRow by myRow.Field<string>(
                         dataSet.Tables[0].Columns[0].ColumnName) into g
                   select new { Name = g.Key, Count = g.Count() }).ToList();

    for (int i = 0; i < results.Count; i++)
        List<double> subScoreList = new List<double>();
        int a = 1, b = 1;
        for (int k = 1; k < dataSet.Tables["Gaussian"].Columns.Count; k = k + 2)
            double mean = Convert.ToDouble(dataSet.Tables["Gaussian"].Rows[i][a]);
            double variance = Convert.ToDouble(dataSet.Tables["Gaussian"].Rows[i][++a]);
            double result = Helper.NormalDist(obj[b - 1], mean, Helper.SquareRoot(variance));
            a++; b++;

        double finalScore = 0;
        for (int z = 0; z < subScoreList.Count; z++)
            if (finalScore == 0)
                finalScore = subScoreList[z];

            finalScore = finalScore * subScoreList[z];

        score.Add(results[i].Name, finalScore * 0.5);

    double maxOne = score.Max(c => c.Value);
    var name = (from c in score
                where c.Value == maxOne
                select c.Key).First();

    return name;

The Classifier class is very easy to use, having two functions Train and Classify. To train the classifier, training data set is created. The example shows how a set of data related to height, weight, foot-size is used to to classify sex.

Please let me know if better code is possible.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

Questionaccuracy of the naive bayes classifier Pin
Member 1060926223-Feb-15 17:55
memberMember 1060926223-Feb-15 17:55 
QuestionNaive Bayes Classifier Pin
Member 1129830410-Dec-14 10:10
memberMember 1129830410-Dec-14 10:10 
QuestionMore steps? Pin
skanskan26-Nov-14 9:50
memberskanskan26-Nov-14 9:50 
Bugsome bugs that I have found Pin
Member 111889823-Nov-14 2:40
memberMember 111889823-Nov-14 2:40 
QuestionBug if all values are the same for a single attribute Pin
JaneHuang22-Dec-13 5:04
memberJaneHuang22-Dec-13 5:04 
Questionfiltering Pin
geetika gautam1630-Oct-13 22:19
membergeetika gautam1630-Oct-13 22:19 
QuestionHow to use your code for text classification Pin
Stephin Francis12-Sep-13 23:02
memberStephin Francis12-Sep-13 23:02 
QuestionGreat! Pin
jetcai190012-Jun-13 2:29
memberjetcai190012-Jun-13 2:29 
Questionwhat should we do for null values Pin
Member 302950027-May-13 6:36
memberMember 302950027-May-13 6:36 
GeneralNice Article Pin
Donald Knuth4-Jan-13 3:02
memberDonald Knuth4-Jan-13 3:02 
GeneralRe: Nice Article Pin
Flapsi20-Feb-13 10:06
memberFlapsi20-Feb-13 10:06 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Member 42966955-May-12 11:36
memberMember 42966955-May-12 11:36 
QuestionText classification Pin
Member 42966955-May-12 11:35
memberMember 42966955-May-12 11:35 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Filip D'haene22-Jan-12 16:10
memberFilip D'haene22-Jan-12 16:10 

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