Data mining of Bayesian networks using cooperative coevolution

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Decision Support Systems

Publication Date






First Page


Last Page



Bayesian networks, Cooperative coevolution, Data mining, Evolutionary computation


This paper describes a novel data mining algorithm that employs cooperative coevolution and a hybrid approach to discover Bayesian networks from data. A Bayesian network is a graphical knowledge representation tool. However, learning Bayesian networks from data is a difficult problem. There are two different approaches to the network learning problem. The first one uses dependency analysis, while the second approach searches good network structures according to a metric. Unfortunately, the two approaches both have their own drawbacks. Thus, we propose a novel algorithm that combines the characteristics of these approaches to improve learning effectiveness and efficiency. The new learning algorithm consists of the conditional independence (CI) test and the search phases. In the CI test phase, dependency analysis is conducted to reduce the size of the search space. In the search phase, good Bayesian networks are generated by a cooperative coevolution genetic algorithm (GA). We conduct a number of experiments and compare the new algorithm with our previous algorithm, Minimum Description Length and Evolutionary Programming (MDLEP), which uses evolutionary programming (EP) for network learning. The results illustrate that the new algorithm has better performance. We apply the algorithm to a large real-world data set and compare the performance of the discovered Bayesian networks with that of the back-propagation neural networks and the logistic regression models. This study illustrates that the algorithm is a promising alternative to other data mining algorithms.



Print ISSN


Funding Information

This research was supported by the Earmarked Grant LU 3012/01E from the Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. {LU 3012/01E}

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version



Recommended Citation

Wong, M. L., Lee, S. Y., & Leung, K. S. (2004). Data mining of Bayesian networks using cooperative coevolution. Decision Support Systems, 38(3), 451-472. doi: 10.1016/S0167-9236(03)00115-5