Open Access

Can Learning Vector Quantization be an Alternative to SVM and Deep Learning? - Recent Trends and Advanced Variants of Learning Vector Quantization for Classification Learning


Learning vector quantization (LVQ) is one of the most powerful approaches for prototype based classification of vector data, intuitively introduced by Kohonen. The prototype adaptation scheme relies on its attraction and repulsion during the learning providing an easy geometric interpretability of the learning as well as of the classification decision scheme. Although deep learning architectures and support vector classifiers frequently achieve comparable or even better results, LVQ models are smart alternatives with low complexity and computational costs making them attractive for many industrial applications like intelligent sensor systems or advanced driver assistance systems.

Nowadays, the mathematical theory developed for LVQ delivers sufficient justification of the algorithm making it an appealing alternative to other approaches like support vector machines and deep learning techniques.

This review article reports current developments and extensions of LVQ starting from the generalized LVQ (GLVQ), which is known as the most powerful cost function based realization of the original LVQ. The cost function minimized in GLVQ is an soft-approximation of the standard classification error allowing gradient descent learning techniques. The GLVQ variants considered in this contribution, cover many aspects like bordersensitive learning, application of non-Euclidean metrics like kernel distances or divergences, relevance learning as well as optimization of advanced statistical classification quality measures beyond the accuracy including sensitivity and specificity or area under the ROC-curve.

According to these topics, the paper highlights the basic motivation for these variants and extensions together with the mathematical prerequisites and treatments for integration into the standard GLVQ scheme and compares them to other machine learning approaches. For detailed description and mathematical theory behind all, the reader is referred to the respective original articles.

Thus, the intention of the paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the stateof- the-art serving as a starting point to search for an appropriate LVQ variant in case of a given specific classification problem as well as a reference to recently developed variants and improvements of the basic GLVQ scheme.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Computer Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Databases and Data Mining