Collaborating Authors


The Chi-Squared Test Statistic is a Must For Every Data Scientist: A Case Study in Customer Churn


The chi-square statistic is a useful tool for understanding the relationship between two categorical variables. For the sake of example, let's say you work for a tech company that has rolled out a new product and you want to assess the relationship between this product and customer churn. In the age of data, tech or otherwise, many companies undergo to risk of taking evidence that is either anecdotal or perhaps a high level visualization to indicate certainty of a given relationship. The chi-square statistic gives us a way to quantify and assess the strength of a given pair of categorical variables. Let's explore chi-square from this lens of customer churn.

On Moving from Statistics to Machine Learning, the Final Stage of Grief


I've spent the last few months preparing for and applying for data science jobs. It's possible the data science world may reject me and my lack of both experience and a credential above a bachelors degree, in which case I'll do something else. Regardless of what lies in store for my future, I think I've gotten a good grasp of the mindset underlying machine learning and how it differs from traditional statistics, so I thought I'd write about it for those who have a similar background to me considering a similar move.1 This post is geared toward people who are excellent at statistics but don't really "get" machine learning and want to understand the gist of it in about 15 minutes of reading. If you have a traditional academic stats backgrounds (be it econometrics, biostatistics, psychometrics, etc.), there are two good reasons to learn more about data science: The world of data science is, in many ways, hiding in plain sight from the more academically-minded quantitative disciplines.

Maximum likelihood estimation for Machine Learning - Nucleusbox


In the Logistic Regression for Machine Learning using Python blog, I have introduced the basic idea of the logistic function. We have discussed the cost function. And in the iterative method, we focus on the Gradient descent optimization method. Now so in this section, we are going to introduce the Maximum Likelihood cost function. And we would like to maximize this cost function.

Introduction to Linear Algebra for Applied Machine Learning with Python


Linear algebra is to machine learning as flour to bakery: every machine learning model is based in linear algebra, as every cake is based in flour. It is not the only ingredient, of course. Machine learning models need vector calculus, probability, and optimization, as cakes need sugar, eggs, and butter. Applied machine learning, like bakery, is essentially about combining these mathematical ingredients in clever ways to create useful (tasty?) models. This document contains introductory level linear algebra notes for applied machine learning. It is meant as a reference rather than a comprehensive review. It also a good introduction for people that don't need a deep understanding of linear algebra, but still want to learn about the fundamentals to read about machine learning or to use pre-packaged machine learning solutions. Further, it is a good source for people that learned linear algebra a while ago and need a refresher. These notes are based in a series of (mostly) freely ...

Linear algebra and optimization and machine learning: A textbook - KDnuggets


Linear Algebra and Optimization for Machine Learning: A Textbook (Springer), authored by Charu C. Aggarwal, May 2020. PDF Download Link (Free for computers connected to subscribing institutions only). The PDF version has links for e-readers, and is preferable in terms of equation formatting to the Kindle version. A frequent challenge faced by beginners in machine learning is the extensive background requirement in linear algebra and optimization. This makes the learning curve very steep.

Machine learning for causal inference: on the use of cross-fit estimators Machine Learning

Modern causal inference methods allow machine learning to be used to weaken parametric modeling assumptions. However, the use of machine learning may result in bias and incorrect inferences due to overfitting. Cross-fit estimators have been proposed to eliminate this bias and yield better statistical properties. We conducted a simulation study to assess the performance of several different estimators for the average causal effect (ACE). The data generating mechanisms for the simulated treatment and outcome included log-transforms, polynomial terms, and discontinuities. We compared singly-robust estimators (g-computation, inverse probability weighting) and doubly-robust estimators (augmented inverse probability weighting, targeted maximum likelihood estimation). Nuisance functions were estimated with parametric models and ensemble machine learning, separately. We further assessed cross-fit doubly-robust estimators. With correctly specified parametric models, all of the estimators were unbiased and confidence intervals achieved nominal coverage. When used with machine learning, the cross-fit estimators substantially outperformed all of the other estimators in terms of bias, variance, and confidence interval coverage. Due to the difficulty of properly specifying parametric models in high dimensional data, doubly-robust estimators with ensemble learning and cross-fitting may be the preferred approach for estimation of the ACE in most epidemiologic studies. However, these approaches may require larger sample sizes to avoid finite-sample issues.

A Gamma-Poisson Mixture Topic Model for Short Text Machine Learning

Most topic models are constructed under the assumption that documents follow a multinomial distribution. The Poisson distribution is an alternative distribution to describe the probability of count data. For topic modelling, the Poisson distribution describes the number of occurrences of a word in documents of fixed length. The Poisson distribution has been successfully applied in text classification, but its application to topic modelling is not well documented, specifically in the context of a generative probabilistic model. Furthermore, the few Poisson topic models in literature are admixture models, making the assumption that a document is generated from a mixture of topics. In this study, we focus on short text. Many studies have shown that the simpler assumption of a mixture model fits short text better. With mixture models, as opposed to admixture models, the generative assumption is that a document is generated from a single topic. One topic model, which makes this one-topic-per-document assumption, is the Dirichlet-multinomial mixture model. The main contributions of this work are a new Gamma-Poisson mixture model, as well as a collapsed Gibbs sampler for the model. The benefit of the collapsed Gibbs sampler derivation is that the model is able to automatically select the number of topics contained in the corpus. The results show that the Gamma-Poisson mixture model performs better than the Dirichlet-multinomial mixture model at selecting the number of topics in labelled corpora. Furthermore, the Gamma-Poisson mixture produces better topic coherence scores than the Dirichlet-multinomial mixture model, thus making it a viable option for the challenging task of topic modelling of short text.

Identifiability and consistency of network inference using the hub model and variants: a restricted class of Bernoulli mixture models Machine Learning

Statistical network analysis primarily focuses on inferring the parameters of an observed network. In many applications, especially in the social sciences, the observed data is the groups formed by individual subjects. In these applications, the network is itself a parameter of a statistical model. Zhao and Weko (2019) propose a model-based approach, called the hub model, to infer implicit networks from grouping behavior. The hub model assumes that each member of the group is brought together by a member of the group called the hub. The hub model belongs to the family of Bernoulli mixture models. Identifiability of parameters is a notoriously difficult problem for Bernoulli mixture models. This paper proves identifiability of the hub model parameters and estimation consistency under mild conditions. Furthermore, this paper generalizes the hub model by introducing a model component that allows hubless groups in which individual nodes spontaneously appear independent of any other individual. We refer to this additional component as the null component. The new model bridges the gap between the hub model and the degenerate case of the mixture model -- the Bernoulli product. Identifiability and consistency are also proved for the new model. Numerical studies are provided to demonstrate the theoretical results.

SINDy-PI: A Robust Algorithm for Parallel Implicit Sparse Identification of Nonlinear Dynamics Machine Learning

Accurately modeling the nonlinear dynamics of a system from measurement data is a challenging yet vital topic. The sparse identification of nonlinear dynamics (SINDy) algorithm is one approach to discover dynamical systems models from data. Although extensions have been developed to identify implicit dynamics, or dynamics described by rational functions, these extensions are extremely sensitive to noise. In this work, we develop SINDy-PI (parallel, implicit), a robust variant of the SINDy algorithm to identify implicit dynamics and rational nonlinearities. The SINDy-PI framework includes multiple optimization algorithms and a principled approach to model selection. We demonstrate the ability of this algorithm to learn implicit ordinary and partial differential equations and conservation laws from limited and noisy data. In particular, we show that the proposed approach is several orders of magnitude more noise robust than previous approaches, and may be used to identify a class of complex ODE and PDE dynamics that were previously unattainable with SINDy, including for the double pendulum dynamics and the Belousov Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction.