Gradient Boosting Machines

Gradient boosting machines (GBMs) are an extremely popular machine learning algorithm that have proven successful across many domains and is one of the leading methods for winning Kaggle competitions. Whereas random forests build an ensemble of deep independent trees, GBMs build an ensemble of shallow and weak successive trees with each tree learning and improving on the previous. When combined, these many weak successive trees produce a powerful “committee” that are often hard to beat with other algorithms. This latest tutorial covers the fundamentals of GBMs for regression problems.

Visualizing ML Models with LIME

Machine learning (ML) models are often considered “black boxes” due to their complex inner-workings. More advanced ML models such as random forests, gradient boosting machines (GBM), artificial neural networks (ANN), among others are typically more accurate for predicting nonlinear, faint, or rare phenomena. Unfortunately, more accuracy often comes at the expense of interpretability, and interpretability is crucial for business adoption, model documentation, regulatory oversight, and human acceptance and trust. Luckily, several advancements have been made to aid in interpreting ML models. This latest tutorial demonstrates how to use the lime package, which helps to perform local interpretations of ML models.

Random Forests

Bagging regression trees is a technique that can turn a single tree model with high variance and poor predictive power into a fairly accurate prediction function. Unfortunately, bagging regression trees typically suffers from tree correlation, which reduces the overall performance of the model. Random forests are a modification of bagging that builds a large collection of de-correlated trees and have become a very popular “out-of-the-box” learning algorithm that enjoys good predictive performance. This latest tutorial will cover the fundamentals of random forests.

Regression Trees

Basic regression trees partition a data set into smaller groups and then fit a simple model (constant) for each subgroup. Unfortunately, a single tree model tends to be highly unstable and a poor predictor. However, by bootstrap aggregating (bagging) regression trees, this technique can become quite powerful and effective. Moreover, this provides the fundamental basis of more complex tree-based models such as random forests and gradient boosting machines. This latest tutorial will get you started with regression trees and bagging.

Naïve Bayes Classifier

The Naïve Bayes classifier is a simple probabilistic classifier which is based on Bayes theorem but with strong assumptions regarding independence. Historically, this technique became popular with applications in email filtering, spam detection, and document categorization. Although it is often outperformed by other techniques, and despite the naïve design and oversimplified assumptions, this classifier can perform well in many complex real-world problems. And since it is a resource efficient algorithm that is fast and scales well, it is definitely a machine learning algorithm to have in your toolkit. This tutorial will introduce you to this simple classifier.