We develop a Bayesian "sum-of-trees" model where each tree is constrained by a regularization prior to be a weak learner, and fitting and inference are accomplished via an iterative Bayesian backfitting MCMC algorithm that generates samples from a posterior. Effectively, BART is a nonparametric Bayesian regression approach which uses dimensionally adaptive random basis elements. Motivated by ensemble methods in general, and boosting algorithms in particular, BART is defined by a statistical model: a prior and a likelihood. This approach enables full posterior inference including point and interval estimates of the unknown regression function as well as the marginal effects of potential predictors. By keeping track of predictor inclusion frequencies, BART can also be used for model-free variable selection. BART's many features are illustrated with a bake-off against competing methods on 42 different data sets, with a simulation experiment and on a drug discovery classification problem.
Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (BART) is a fully Bayesian approach to modeling with ensembles of trees. BART can uncover complex regression functions with high dimensional regressors in a fairly automatic way and provide Bayesian quantification of the uncertainty through the posterior. However, BART assumes IID normal errors. This strong parametric assumption can lead to misleading inference and uncertainty quantification. In this paper, we use the classic Dirichlet process mixture (DPM) mechanism to nonparametrically model the error distribution. A key strength of BART is that default prior settings work reasonably well in a variety of problems. The challenge in extending BART is to choose the parameters of the DPM so that the strengths of the standard BART approach is not lost when the errors are close to normal, but the DPM has the ability to adapt to non-normal errors.
This article proposes Multinomial Probit Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (MPBART) as a multinomial probit extension of BART - Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (Chipman et al (2010)). MPBART is flexible to allow inclusion of predictors that describe the observed units as well as the available choice alternatives. Through two simulation studies and four real data examples, we show that MPBART exhibits very good predictive performance in comparison to other discrete choice and multiclass classification methods. To implement MPBART, we have developed an R package mpbart available freely from CRAN repositories.
We present a new package in R implementing Bayesian additive regression trees (BART). The package introduces many new features for data analysis using BART such as variable selection, interaction detection, model diagnostic plots, incorporation of missing data and the ability to save trees for future prediction. It is significantly faster than the current R implementation, parallelized, and capable of handling both large sample sizes and high-dimensional data.
We propose a novel "tree-averaging" model that utilizes the ensemble of classification and regression trees (CART). Each constituent tree is estimated with a subset of similar data. We treat this grouping of subsets as Bayesian ensemble trees (BET) and model them as an infinite mixture Dirichlet process. We show that BET adapts to data heterogeneity and accurately estimates each component. Compared with the bootstrap-aggregating approach, BET shows improved prediction performance with fewer trees. We develop an efficient estimating procedure with improved sampling strategies in both CART and mixture models. We demonstrate these advantages of BET with simulations, classification of breast cancer and regression of lung function measurement of cystic fibrosis patients. Keywords: Bayesian CART; Dirichlet Process; Ensemble Approach; Heterogeneity; Mixture of Trees.