This is one of the best introductions to Random Forest algorithm. The author introduces the algorithm with a real-life story and then provides applications in four different fields to help beginners learn and know more about this algorithm. To begin the article, the author highlights one advantage of Random Forest algorithm that excites him: that it can be used for both classification and regression problems. The author chose a classification task for this article, as this will be easier for a beginner to learn. Regression will be the application problem in the next, up-coming article.
Throughout the last decade, random forests have established themselves as among the most accurate and popular supervised learning methods. While their black-box nature has made their mathematical analysis difficult, recent work has established important statistical properties like consistency and asymptotic normality by considering subsampling in lieu of bootstrapping. Though such results open the door to traditional inference procedures, all formal methods suggested thus far place severe restrictions on the testing framework and their computational overhead precludes their practical scientific use. Here we propose a permutation-style testing approach to formally assess feature significance. We establish asymptotic validity of the test via exchangeability arguments and show that the test maintains high power with orders of magnitude fewer computations. As importantly, the procedure scales easily to big data settings where large training and testing sets may be employed without the need to construct additional models. Simulations and applications to ecological data where random forests have recently shown promise are provided.
Random Forest is a flexible, easy to use machine learning algorithm that produces, even without hyper-parameter tuning, a great result most of the time. It is also one of the most used algorithms, because it's simplicity and the fact that it can be used for both classification and regression tasks. In this post, you are going to learn, how the random forest algorithm works and several other important things about it.
In the first part of this series we set the context for Random Forest algorithm by introducing the tree based algorithm for classification problems. In this post we will look at some of the limitations of the tree based model and how they were overcome paving the way to a powerful model – Random Forest. Two major methods that were employed to overcome those pitfalls are Bootstrapping and Bagging. We will discuss them first before delving into random forest. When we discussed the tree based model we saw that such models are very intuitive i.e. they are easy to interpret.
Reducing traffic accidents is an important public safety challenge, therefore, accident analysis and prediction has been a topic of much research over the past few decades. Using small-scale datasets with limited coverage, being dependent on extensive set of data, and being not applicable for real-time purposes are the important shortcomings of the existing studies. To address these challenges, we propose a new solution for real-time traffic accident prediction using easy-to-obtain, but sparse data. Our solution relies on a deep-neural-network model (which we have named DAP, for Deep Accident Prediction); which utilizes a variety of data attributes such as traffic events, weather data, points-of-interest, and time. DAP incorporates multiple components including a recurrent (for time-sensitive data), a fully connected (for time-insensitive data), and a trainable embedding component (to capture spatial heterogeneity). To fill the data gap, we have - through a comprehensive process of data collection, integration, and augmentation - created a large-scale publicly available database of accident information named US-Accidents. By employing the US-Accidents dataset and through an extensive set of experiments across several large cities, we have evaluated our proposal against several baselines. Our analysis and results show significant improvements to predict rare accident events. Further, we have shown the impact of traffic information, time, and points-of-interest data for real-time accident prediction.