What is a false positive?

When reviewers compare different spam filters, one of the most important aspects that is always disussed is the number of false positives. A false positive is a good piece of mail (ham) that gets mistakenly tagged as spam. In other words: a false positive might end up in your spam folder or might even be deleted (depending on the rules you set up in your email client), altough it really isn't spam.

POPFile can do a lot more than just classify spam and ham however. It can sort mail in any number of buckets (e.g. personal, work, spam, subscriptions). In the event that an email is incorrectly classified, there will be a false positive reported for the bucket it was initially placed in AND a false negative reported for the bucket that you reclassify the message into. An unclassified message will be counted as a false negative.

See also: false negative

glossary/falsepositive.txt · Last modified: 2008/02/08 19:49 (external edit)

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