Amy L. Magnus

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Mark E. Oxley, PhD


The Department of Defense and the Department of the Air Force have funded automatic target recognition for several decades with varied success. The foundation of automatic target recognition is based upon pattern recognition. In this work, we present new pattern recognition concepts specifically in the area of classification and propose new techniques that will allow one to determine when a classifier is being arrogant. Clearly arrogance in classification is an undesirable attribute. A human is being arrogant when their expressed conviction in a decision overstates their actual experience in making similar decisions. Likewise given an input feature vector, we say a classifier is arrogant in its classification if its veracity is high yet its experience is low. Conversely a classifier is non-arrogant in its classification if there is a reasonable balance between its veracity and its experience. We quantify this balance and we discuss new techniques that will detect arrogance in a classifier. Inquisitiveness is in many ways the opposite of arrogance. In nature inquisitiveness is an eagerness for knowledge characterized by the drive to question to seek a deeper understanding and to challenge assumptions. The human capacity to doubt present beliefs allows us to acquire new experiences and to learn from our mistakes. Within the discrete world of computers, inquisitive pattern recognition is the constructive investigation and exploitation of conflict in information. This research defines inquisitiveness within the context of self-supervised machine learning and introduces mathematical theory and computational methods for quantifying incompleteness that is for isolating unstable, nonrepresentational regions in present information models.

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