XGBoost is an algorithm used for supervised learning problems.
It means Extreme Gradient Boosting.
How It works?
You have to imagine a sequence of models and each model is trained from the error of its predecessor.
Where It is applied?
Classification And Regression Trees is the base learner and you apply a gradient boosted trees.
Is an iterative process where in each iteration you train a new tree, based on past “informations”.
For example, you have N models, the simplified logical scheme is the following:
- Train (X,y)
- Define the error r1=y1-y*1
- Train (X,r1)
- Tree 2
- Define the new error r2=r1-r*1
- Train (X, rn-1)
- Tree N
- Define the last error rn=rn-1-rn-1*
Here a personal draw to understand better:
Library for Python
Sklearn (here the official documentation, read it if you have time! If you don’t find it!) has the specific class:
When to use it?
There are several kaggle competitions that were won using XGBoost algorithm, which competition?
- Avito Challenge on “Predict demand for an online classified ad”- Binary Classification Problem
- Otto Group Challenge “Classify products into the correct category” –Multi-label classification problem
- Rossman “Forecast sales using store, promotion, and competitor data “ –Regression Problem
You must be careful about overfitting.
Gradient boosted trees are quick to learn.
To avoid Overfitting you can use shrinkage also called learning rate.
Applying a weighting factor for every new tree in our sequence is a validated way to slow learning in gradient boosting.
How in Python?
You can find a lot of tutorial here on the official skelearn documentation, the “core process” is the following:
To tune the shrinkage there is a specific argument inside the class:
“learning_rate : float, optional (default=0.1):
learning rate shrinks the contribution of each tree by learning_rate”
Want you to go deeper?
Read this interesting Q/A on stack overflow and the first paper on Gradient Boosting at this link ,tough paper.
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