I found this question but I need an answer to the other direction.

Example: Let's say we want to predict if a person with a certain profile wants to buy product A and/or B. So we have 2 binary classes A and B that don't exclude each other:

A     B
0     1
1     1
0     0
1     0

(We don't want to predict how likely it is for a person to buy B if the person has already bought A.) Does it - in general or under certain conditions - make sense to transform this problem into a single-class multi-label problem with 4 labels (4=#combinations of A and B)? What if the number of binary classes is larger than 2?


1 Answer 1


It depends on the contextual link between A and B.

If they are completely different categories with no or low correlation, there shouldn't be necessary to have a single class multi label.

But if A and B are somehow connected, overall if they can represent a scale together (i.e. AB = [0 0] = 0 = "low impact" or AB = [1 1] = 3 = "high impact"), it could be meaningful to have a single class multi label. It all depends on the correlation and the business point of view.

If you can give more information about the purpose of A and B, I might be able to give more information.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. I edited my question to give more information but as far as I can conclude from your answer, in my case it doesn't make sense to transform the problem to a multi-label problem. $\endgroup$
    – LineBreak
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yes indeed. In addition to that, multilabel single class shall sooner or later be transformed in numeric values in order to be understood by algorithms (or I don't know another method). As A and B are independent, it doesn't make sense to have a ranged value, otherwise it would give the data a wrong meaning. Consequently, you should keep A and B as binary independent values. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 8:23

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