Cookie Consent
Hi, this website uses essential cookies to ensure its proper operation and tracking cookies to understand how you interact with it. The latter will be set only after consent.
Read our Privacy Policy

Classification Threshold

Classification Threshold is a critical cut-off point in statistical classification models such as Logistic Regression, Random Forest, and Neural Networks. It is the value that distinguishes between the different class labels in a binary, or multi-class, classification problem. The selection of the classification threshold value carries significant influence on the efficacy of the model and impacts the balance between precision and recall.

How it works

In most classification models, the outcome is a probability that the given input point belongs to a certain class. For instance, in a binary classification model that predicts whether an email is spam or not, every email is given a probability between 0 and 1. Generally, the default threshold is set to 0.5, where anything below this value is assigned to one class (not spam), and anything above is allocated to the other class (spam).

However, depending on the nature of the problem and the trade-off between precision and recall, the threshold may be adjusted. If the classification threshold is increased, the model becomes more conservative about assigning the observations to the positive class, which could improve precision but potentially at the expense of recall. Conversely, lowering the threshold could increase recall but may reduce precision.

Hence, choosing the right threshold depends on the problem's requirements. For example, in medical diagnosis, it's more crucial to prioritize recall to avoid missing any potential positive cases, even if it leads to some false positives. Conversely, in a spam detection system, precision could be more vital to prevent mislabeling important emails as spam.

Various techniques, like the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve and Precision-Recall curve, can be used to decide the optimal threshold based on the trade-off between different evaluation metrics.

Lakera LLM Security Playbook
Learn how to protect against the most common LLM vulnerabilities

Download this guide to delve into the most common LLM security risks and ways to mitigate them.

Related terms
untouchable mode.
Get started for free.

Lakera Guard protects your LLM applications from cybersecurity risks with a single line of code. Get started in minutes. Become stronger every day.

Join our Slack Community.

Several people are typing about AI/ML security. 
Come join us and 1000+ others in a chat that’s thoroughly SFW.