A wide variety of machine learning algorithms such as the support vector machine (SVM), minimax probability machine (MPM), and Fisher discriminant analysis (FDA) exist for binary classification. The purpose of this letter is to provide a unified classification model that includes these models through a robust optimization approach. This unified model has several benefits. One is that the extensions and improvements intended for SVMs become applicable to MPM and FDA, and vice versa. For example, we can obtain nonconvex variants of MPM and FDA by mimicking Perez-Cruz, Weston, Hermann, and Schölkopf's (2003) extension from convex ν-SVM to nonconvex Eν-SVM. Another benefit is to provide theoretical results concerning these learning methods at once by dealing with the unified model. We give a statistical interpretation of the unified classification model and prove that the model is a good approximation for the worst-case minimization of an expected loss with respect to the uncertain probability distribution. We also propose a nonconvex optimization algorithm that can be applied to nonconvex variants of existing learning methods and show promising numerical results.

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