A Support Vector Approach to Censored Targets


Censored targets, such as the time to events in survival analysis, can generally be represented by intervals on the real line. In this paper, we propose a novel support vector technique (named SVCR) for regression on censored targets. SVCR inherits the strengths of support vector methods, such as a globally optimal solution by convex programming, fast training speed and strong generalization capacity. In contrast to ranking approaches to survival analysis, our approach is able not only to achieve superior ordering performance, but also to predict the survival time very well. Experiments show a significant performance improvement when the majority of the training data is censored. Experimental results on several survival analysis datasets demonstrate that SVCR is very competitive against classical survival analysis models.