Blog Archives

vtreat 0.5.27 released on CRAN

August 19, 2016
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Win-Vector LLC, Nina Zumel and I are pleased to announce that ‘vtreat’ version 0.5.27 has been released on CRAN. vtreat is a data.frame processor/conditioner that prepares real-world data for predictive modeling in a statistically sound manner. (from the package documentation) Very roughly vtreat accepts an arbitrary “from the wild” data frame (with different column types, … Continue...

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My criticism of R numeric summary

August 18, 2016
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My criticism of R numeric summary

My criticism of R‘s numeric summary() method is: it unfaithful to numeric arguments (due to bad default behavior) and frankly it should be considered unreliable. It is likely the way it is for historic and compatibility reasons, but in my opinion it does not currently represent a desirable set of tradeoffs. summary() likely represents good … Continue...

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The Win-Vector parallel computing in R series

August 16, 2016
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With our recent publication of “Can you nest parallel operations in R?” we now have a nice series of “how to speed up statistical computations in R” that moves from application, to larger/cloud application, and then to details. For your convenience here they are in order: A gentle introduction to parallel computing in R Running … Continue...

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Can you nest parallel operations in R?

August 15, 2016
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When we teach parallel programming in R we start with the basic use of parallel (please see here for example). This is, in our opinion, a necessary step before getting into clever notation and wrapping such as doParallel and foreach. Only then do the students have a sufficiently explicit interface to frame important questions about … Continue...

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The magrittr monad

August 6, 2016
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The magrittr monad

Monads are a formal theory of composition where programmers get to invoke some very abstract mathematics (category theory) to argue the minutia of annotating, scheduling, sequencing operations, and side effects. On the positive side the monad axioms are a guarantee that related ways of writing code are in fact substitutable and equivalent; so you want … Continue...

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A budget of classifier evaluation measures

July 21, 2016
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A budget of classifier evaluation measures

Beginning analysts and data scientists often ask: “how does one remember and master the seemingly endless number of classifier metrics?” My concrete advice is: Read Nina Zumel’s excellent series on scoring classifiers. Keep notes. Settle on one or two metrics as you move project to project. We prefer “AUC” early in a project (when you … Continue...

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vtreat version 0.5.26 released on CRAN

July 12, 2016
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Win-Vector LLC, Nina Zumel and I are pleased to announce that ‘vtreat’ version 0.5.26 has been released on CRAN. ‘vtreat’ is a data.frame processor/conditioner that prepares real-world data for predictive modeling in a statistically sound manner. (from the package documentation) ‘vtreat’ is an R package that incorporates a number of transforms and simulated out of … Continue reading...

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y-aware scaling in context

June 22, 2016
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Nina Zumel introduced y-aware scaling in her recent article Principal Components Regression, Pt. 2: Y-Aware Methods. I really encourage you to read the article and add the technique to your repertoire. The method combines well with other methods and can drive better predictive modeling results. From feedback I am not sure everybody noticed that in … Continue reading...

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Why you should read Nina Zumel’s 3 part series on principal components analysis and regression

June 9, 2016
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Why you should read Nina Zumel’s 3 part series on principal components analysis and regression

Short form: Win-Vector LLC’s Dr. Nina Zumel has a three part series on Principal Components Regression that we think is well worth your time. Part 1: the proper preparation of data (including scaling) and use of principal components analysis (particularly for supervised learning or regression). Part 2: the introduction of y-aware scaling to direct the … Continue reading...

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Free e-book: Exploring Data Science

June 8, 2016
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Free e-book: Exploring Data Science

We are pleased to announce a new free e-book from Manning Publications: Exploring Data Science. Exploring Data Science is a collection of five chapters hand picked by John Mount and Nina Zumel, introducing you to various areas in data science and explaining which methodologies work best for each. Exploring Data Science gives you a free … Continue reading...

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