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Classify observations using ensemble of classification models


labels = predict(Mdl,X) returns a vector of predicted class labels for the predictor data in the table or matrix X, based on the full or compact, trained classification ensemble Mdl.

labels = predict(Mdl,X,Name,Value) uses additional options specified by one or more Name,Value pair arguments.

[labels,scores] = predict(___) also returns a matrix of classification scores (scores), indicating the likelihood that a label comes from a particular class, using any of the input arguments in the previous syntaxes. For each observation in X, the predicted class label corresponds to the maximum score among all classes.

Input Arguments


A classification ensemble created by fitcensemble or a compact classification ensemble created by compact.


Predictor data to be classified, specified as a numeric matrix or table.

Each row of X corresponds to one observation, and each column corresponds to one variable.

  • For a numeric matrix:

    • The variables making up the columns of X must have the same order as the predictor variables that trained Mdl.

    • If you trained Mdl using a table (for example, Tbl), then X can be a numeric matrix if Tbl contains all numeric predictor variables. To treat numeric predictors in Tbl as categorical during training, identify categorical predictors using the CategoricalPredictors name-value pair argument of fitcensemble. If Tbl contains heterogeneous predictor variables (for example, numeric and categorical data types) and X is a numeric matrix, then predict throws an error.

  • For a table:

    • predict does not support multicolumn variables or cell arrays other than cell arrays of character vectors.

    • If you trained Mdl using a table (for example, Tbl), then all predictor variables in X must have the same variable names and be of the same data types as those that trained Mdl (stored in Mdl.PredictorNames). However, the column order of X does not need to correspond to the column order of Tbl. Tbl and X can contain additional variables (response variables, observation weights, etc.), but predict ignores them.

    • If you trained Mdl using a numeric matrix, then the predictor names in Mdl.PredictorNames and corresponding predictor variable names in X must be the same. To specify predictor names during training, see the PredictorNames name-value pair argument of fitcensemble. All predictor variables in X must be numeric vectors. X can contain additional variables (response variables, observation weights, etc.), but predict ignores them.

Name-Value Arguments

Specify optional pairs of arguments as Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN, where Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the pairs does not matter.

Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose Name in quotes.


Indices of weak learners predict uses for computation of responses, a numeric vector.

Default: 1:T, where T is the number of weak learners in Mdl


A logical matrix of size N-by-T, where:

  • N is the number of rows of X.

  • T is the number of weak learners in Mdl.

When UseObsForLearner(i,j) is true, learner j is used in predicting the class of row i of X.

Default: true(N,T)


Indication to perform inference in parallel, specified as false (compute serially) or true (compute in parallel). Parallel computation requires Parallel Computing Toolbox™. Parallel inference can be faster than serial inference, especially for large datasets. Parallel computation is supported only for tree learners.

Default: false

Output Arguments


Vector of classification labels. labels has the same data type as the labels used in training Mdl. (The software treats string arrays as cell arrays of character vectors.)

The predict function classifies an observation into the class yielding the highest score. For an observation with NaN scores, the function classifies the observation into the majority class, which makes up the largest proportion of the training labels.


A matrix with one row per observation and one column per class. For each observation and each class, the score represents the confidence that the observation originates from that class. A higher score indicates a higher confidence. For more information, see Score (ensemble).


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Load Fisher's iris data set. Determine the sample size.

load fisheriris
N = size(meas,1);

Partition the data into training and test sets. Hold out 10% of the data for testing.

rng(1); % For reproducibility
cvp = cvpartition(N,'Holdout',0.1);
idxTrn = training(cvp); % Training set indices
idxTest = test(cvp);    % Test set indices

Store the training data in a table.

tblTrn = array2table(meas(idxTrn,:));
tblTrn.Y = species(idxTrn);

Train a classification ensemble using AdaBoostM2 and the training set. Specify tree stumps as the weak learners.

t = templateTree('MaxNumSplits',1);
Mdl = fitcensemble(tblTrn,'Y','Method','AdaBoostM2','Learners',t);

Predict labels for the test set. You trained model using a table of data, but you can predict labels using a matrix.

labels = predict(Mdl,meas(idxTest,:));

Construct a confusion matrix for the test set.


Figure contains an object of type ConfusionMatrixChart.

Mdl misclassifies one versicolor iris as virginica in the test set.

Create an ensemble of boosted trees and inspect the importance of each predictor. Using test data, assess the classification accuracy of the ensemble.

Load the arrhythmia data set. Determine the class representations in the data.

load arrhythmia
Y = categorical(Y);
  Value    Count   Percent
      1      245     54.20%
      2       44      9.73%
      3       15      3.32%
      4       15      3.32%
      5       13      2.88%
      6       25      5.53%
      7        3      0.66%
      8        2      0.44%
      9        9      1.99%
     10       50     11.06%
     14        4      0.88%
     15        5      1.11%
     16       22      4.87%

The data set contains 16 classes, but not all classes are represented (for example, class 13). Most observations are classified as not having arrhythmia (class 1). The data set is highly discrete with imbalanced classes.

Combine all observations with arrhythmia (classes 2 through 15) into one class. Remove those observations with an unknown arrhythmia status (class 16) from the data set.

idx = (Y ~= "16");
Y = Y(idx);
X = X(idx,:);
Y(Y ~= "1") = "WithArrhythmia";
Y(Y == "1") = "NoArrhythmia";
Y = removecats(Y);

Create a partition that evenly splits the data into training and test sets.

rng("default") % For reproducibility
cvp = cvpartition(Y,"Holdout",0.5);
idxTrain = training(cvp);
idxTest = test(cvp);

cvp is a cross-validation partition object that specifies the training and test sets.

Train an ensemble of 100 boosted classification trees using AdaBoostM1. Specify to use tree stumps as the weak learners. Also, because the data set contains missing values, specify to use surrogate splits.

t = templateTree("MaxNumSplits",1,"Surrogate","on");
numTrees = 100;
mdl = fitcensemble(X(idxTrain,:),Y(idxTrain),"Method","AdaBoostM1", ...

mdl is a trained ClassificationEnsemble model.

Inspect the importance measure for each predictor.

predImportance = predictorImportance(mdl);
title("Predictor Importance")
ylabel("Importance Measure")

Figure contains an axes object. The axes object with title Predictor Importance, xlabel Predictor, ylabel Importance Measure contains an object of type bar.

Identify the top ten predictors in terms of their importance.

[~,idxSort] = sort(predImportance,"descend");
idx10 = idxSort(1:10)
idx10 = 1×10

   228   233   238    93    15   224    91   177   260   277

Classify the test set observations. View the results using a confusion matrix. Blue values indicate correct classifications, and red values indicate misclassified observations.

predictedValues = predict(mdl,X(idxTest,:));

Figure contains an object of type ConfusionMatrixChart.

Compute the accuracy of the model on the test data.

error = loss(mdl,X(idxTest,:),Y(idxTest), ...
accuracy = 1 - error
accuracy = 0.7731

accuracy estimates the fraction of correctly classified observations.

More About

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Alternative Functionality

Simulink Block

To integrate the prediction of an ensemble into Simulink®, you can use the ClassificationEnsemble Predict block in the Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox™ library or a MATLAB® Function block with the predict function. For examples, see Predict Class Labels Using ClassificationEnsemble Predict Block and Predict Class Labels Using MATLAB Function Block.

When deciding which approach to use, consider the following:

  • If you use the Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox library block, you can use the Fixed-Point Tool (Fixed-Point Designer) to convert a floating-point model to fixed point.

  • Support for variable-size arrays must be enabled for a MATLAB Function block with the predict function.

  • If you use a MATLAB Function block, you can use MATLAB functions for preprocessing or post-processing before or after predictions in the same MATLAB Function block.

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced in R2011a