Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-1-2019


Traditionally, machine learning models are assessed using methods that estimate an average performance against samples drawn from a particular distribution. Examples include the use of cross-validation or hold0out to estimate classification error, F-score, precision, and recall.

While these measures provide valuable information, they do not tell us a model's certainty relative to particular regions of the input space. Typically there are regions where the model can differentiate the classes with certainty, and regions where the model is much less certain about its predictions.

In this dissertation we explore numerous approaches for quantifying uncertainty in the individual predictions made by supervised machine learning models. We develop an uncertainty measure we call minimum prediction deviation which can be used to assess the quality of the individual predictions made by supervised two-class classifiers. We show how minimum prediction deviation can be used to differentiate between the samples that model predicts credibly, and the samples for which further analysis is required.


machine learning, uncertainty quantification


Sandia National Laboratories LDRD Program

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Don Hush

Second Committee Member

Ramiro Jordan

Third Committee Member

Trilce Estrada

Fourth Committee Member

Chouki Abdallah

Fifth Committee Member

David Stracuzzi