Regression is a prominent technique of supervised machine learning, the process of analyzing the relationship between the predictor output variable and the dependent target variables results from continuous numerical value output. Regression is widely used in Finance, Business, Economics, and Biology.
Regression is a broadly used statistical approach in supervised machine learning that plays an important role due to its capability of handling real or continuous values. Regression models use the independent variables and their corresponding continuous dependent to learn the specific association between inputs and corresponding outputs.
Linear Regression: Linear regression assumes a linear relationship between the independent and dependent variables. It calculates the coefficients of the linear equation that best fits the data by minimizing the sum of the squared differences between the predicted and actual values. Linear regression can be used for simple (with one independent variable) and multiple (with multiple independent variables) regression problems.
Ridge Regression: Ridge regression is a regularized version of linear regression that adds a penalty term to the loss function. It penalty term discourages large coefficient values, which helps to prevent overfitting. Ridge regression is particularly useful when dealing with multicollinearity, where the independent variables are highly correlated.
Bayesian Regression: Bayesian regression is a technique that incorporates Bayesian inference principles to estimate the regression model parameters and make predictions. It provides a probabilistic framework for modeling uncertainty and incorporates prior parameter knowledge.
The main advantage of this regression is its ability to characterize uncertainty in the regression parameters and predictions comprehensively. It allows for the incorporation of prior knowledge and promotes a more principled approach to decision-making, and it naturally handles regularization by incorporating prior distributions that favor simpler or more sparse models.
It has wider applications in different fields, including finance, economics, and healthcare. It provides a flexible and powerful framework for regression analysis, especially when dealing with limited data or when incorporating prior knowledge is crucial.
Lasso Regression: Like ridge regression, Lasso regression introduces a penalty term to the loss function. However, lasso regression uses the L1 regularization term, encouraging sparse coefficient values. It can set some coefficients to zero, effectively performing feature selection and creating a simpler model.
Random Forest Regression: Random forest regression is an ensemble method that combines multiple decision trees. Each tree is trained on a random subset of data and a random subset of features. The final prediction is obtained by averaging the predictions of all trees. Random forest regression is robust, handles high-dimensional data well and can capture complex relationships.
KNN Model: KNN models are widely used for nonlinear regression in machine learning that follows a simple implementation approach for nonlinear regression and assumes that new data points are similar to existing data points. New data points are compared to existing categories and assigned to an assignable category. The mean of the k nearest neighbors is input to this algorithm. The neighbors in a KNN model are assigned specific weights that define their contribution to the mean.
A common way to assign weights to neighbors in KNN models is 1/d, where d is the distance from the object whose value is expected to the neighbor. When using a KNN model to determine the value of new data points, it is important to recognize that the closest data points have more influence than the farther away data points.
Gaussian Regression: Gaussian regression algorithms are widely used in machine learning applications due to their flexibility of representation and inherent uncertainty measures for predictions. Gaussian processes are based on basic concepts such as multivariate normal distributions, nonparametric models, kernels, and joint and conditional probabilities.
Gaussian Regression Models can use prior knowledge to make predictions and provide a measure of uncertainty for those predictions. It is a supervised learning method developed by the computer science and statistics community.
Decision Tree Regression: Decision tree regression builds a binary tree structure to make predictions. This tree is constructed by recursively splitting the data based on the values of independent variables, aiming to minimize the variance of dependent variable within each leaf node. Decision tree regression is capable of capturing nonlinear relationships and interactions between variables.
Support Vector Regression: Support vector regression is an extension of support vector machines (SVM) for regression problems. SVR aims to find a hyperplane that fits as many points as possible within a certain margin around it. Parameters control the margin, and SVR can handle nonlinear relationships using different kernel functions.
Neural Network Regression: Neural network regression is a type of regression analysis that utilizes artificial neural networks as the underlying modeling technique. Neural networks are powerful machine learning models inspired by the functioning of the human brain. They can learn complex relationships and patterns from data, making them well-suited for regression tasks where the relationship between the predictors and the target variable may be nonlinear or involve interactions.
The neural network is trained to map the input variables to the output variable. The network consists of interconnected layers of nodes that process the input data and propagate information. Each node applies a mathematical function to the weighted sum of its inputs, introducing nonlinearity through activation functions.
Polynomial Regression: Polynomial regression extends linear regression by introducing polynomial terms of the independent variables into the equation. It allows for capturing more complex relationships between the variables. For example, a quadratic regression includes a squared term, while a cubic regression includes a cubed term.
Gradient Boosting Regression: Gradient boosting regression combines multiple weak predictive models, such as decision trees, to create a strong predictive model. It starts with an initial model and then iteratively adds new models to correct the errors made by the previous models. Gradient boosting regression is known for its high predictive accuracy.
Boosted Regression Tree (BRT): BRT is a machine learning algorithm that combines the power of regression trees with boosting techniques to create a robust and accurate regression model. It is a popular approach for predictive modeling and data analysis tasks, offering several advantages.
It is robust against outliers and can capture both continuous and categorical variables. BRT models can be sensitive to noisy data, and interpretation of the model can be challenging due to the ensemble nature. The evaluation of BRT models is typically done using regression metrics such as mean squared error (MSE), mean absolute error (MAE), or R-squared.
Elastic Net Regression: Elastic Net regression is a regularization technique that combines the penalties of L1 (Lasso) and L2 (Ridge) regularization methods. It is commonly used in linear regression models to address multicollinearity and perform feature selection by shrinking the coefficients of irrelevant or correlated features. It is a versatile regularization technique that addresses multicollinearity, performs feature selection and balances between L1 and L2 penalties. It is commonly used when both sparsity and shrinkage of coefficients are desired.
RANSAC Regression: RANSAC (Random Sample Consensus) regression is an iterative algorithm used for robust regression, particularly in the presence of outliers in the data. It is commonly employed when traditional regression models may be sensitive to outliers and can produce inaccurate results. It is advantageous in scenarios with outliers or errors in the data that may significantly impact traditional regression models.
RANSAC can robustly estimate the underlying regression model by iteratively fitting models and identifying consensus sets. It is widely used in computer vision, image processing, and other fields where data may contain noise or outliers.
Theil-Sen Regression: It is also known as the Sens slope estimator or the median slope estimator, a robust linear regression technique that estimates the slope and intercept of a linear relationship between variables.
The key idea behind Theil-Sen regression is that it is less affected by outliers or nonlinear relationships by considering pairwise differences. Using the median, the method resists extreme values, reducing their impact on the final estimated slope and intercept.
The advantages of Theil-Sen regression include robustness against outliers, simplicity, and the ability to handle nonlinear relationships. It does not rely on distributional assumptions and can be used in cases where other regression techniques may fail due to violations of assumptions.
Huber Regression: It combines the benefits of both least squares regression and absolute deviation regression to balance the robustness of the absolute deviation loss function of the least squares, making it less sensitive to outliers while still providing good estimates for the majority of the data.
Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS): MARS is a nonparametric regression technique that uses piecewise linear functions to model the relationship between predictors and a response variable. It is particularly useful when the relationship between variables is nonlinear or exhibits interactions.
MARS has several advantages, including its ability to capture nonlinearity, interactions and variable selection. It automatically detects complex relationships without assuming a specific functional form.
Evaluation of MARS is typically done using regression metrics such as mean squared error or mean absolute error. Therefore, the visual inspection of the model fit and residual analysis provides insights into the model performance.
It has been widely used in finance, economics, and environmental sciences between predictors and response variables. It also provides a flexible and interpretable approach to nonlinear regression modeling.
Quantile Regression: Quantile regression is a technique that focuses on estimating the conditional quantiles of the response variable rather than the conditional mean, as in traditional least squares regression. It allows for a more comprehensive analysis of the relationship between predictors and different points in the distribution of the response variable.
Quantile regression offers several advantages over traditional least squares regression. It provides a more complete picture and different parts of the response distribution, allowing for a better understanding of heterogeneous effects and capturing the full range of possible outcomes.
Regression algorithms are used in machine learning for several reasons. Some of the reasons are mentioned and listed in the below section,
Model simplicity: Regression models are often simpler and more interpretable than complex algorithms like neural networks. They have fewer parameters to tune and are relatively easier to implement and understand. Its simplicity makes it suitable for situations where a simpler model is preferred, or the sample size is limited.
Feature importance: It can estimate the importance of different features in making predictions. It information helps in feature selection, feature engineering, and identifying the most relevant variables for the problem.
Prediction and forecasting: It can effectively predict numerical values, analyze historical data, and learn pattern relationships to predict future outcomes.
Continuum of values: Regression models are suited for predicting and estimating continuous or interval-based values. Unlike classification algorithms that assign data points to discrete classes or categories, regression algorithms provide a range of values representing a wide spectrum of possibilities.
Interpolation and extrapolation: It models can interpolate between existing data points to estimate values within a known range. They can also extrapolate beyond the existing data to predict values outside the observed range. Its capability is useful when dealing with incomplete or sparse datasets.
Relationship analysis: Regression algorithms help analyze the relationship between input and target variables. They can quantify the impact of different predictors on the target variable and identify which variables are most influential in driving the outcomes. Its analysis aids in understanding the underlying dynamics of the data.
Model interpretability: Some regression algorithms, such as linear regression, offer interpretability. They provide coefficients indicating the strength and direction of the relationship between input and target variables. Its interpretability allows analysts and stakeholders to understand the factors driving the predictions.
Baseline performance: It can serve as a baseline model for performance comparison to provide a simple approach for evaluating the performance of more complex algorithms. Researchers can assess the added value of an additional complexity by comparing the results of more advanced models to those of a regression model.
Overfitting or underfitting: Regression models can suffer from overfitting or underfitting issues. An overfitting occurs when the model captures noise or idiosyncrasies in the training data, leading to poor generalization of new data. An underfitting happens when the model is too simple to capture underlying patterns in the data, resulting in low predictive power.
Multicollinearity: Multicollinearity occurs when a regression model has a high correlation between predictor variables. It can lead to unstable and unreliable coefficient estimates, making it challenging to interpret the individual effects of each variable accurately.
Assumption violations: It model can often make assumptions about the data, such as the independence of errors, constant variance of errors, and normality of error distribution. Violations of these assumptions can affect the reliability and validity of the model predictions.
Limited flexibility: Some regression algorithms may struggle to handle highly nonlinear or non-monotonic relationships, requiring more advanced techniques or feature engineering to improve performance.
Limited handling of categorical variables: Traditional regression algorithms are primarily designed for numerical inputs, and handling categorical variables directly can be challenging. One-hot encoding techniques are often required to incorporate categorical variables into the regression model.
Limited interpretability with complex models: While some regression algorithms offer interpretability, more complex models, such as ensemble methods or deep learning architectures, may sacrifice interpretability in favor of improved performance. Understanding and explaining the inner workings of these complex models can be challenging.
Limited ability for handling time-series data: Traditional regression algorithms may not be well-suited for handling time-series data where temporal dependencies and dynamics play a crucial role. Specialized time-series models or modifications to regression algorithms are often required in such cases.
Limited handling of missing data: Regression models may struggle to handle missing data effectively. Imputation techniques or specific methods to handle missing values need to be applied, which can introduce additional uncertainty into the analysis.
Prognostic or predictive analysis - One important application of regression is prognostic or predictive analysis, for example, forecasting the GDP, oil prices, or any quantitative data that changes over time.
Optimization - Use the regression to optimize business processes. For example, a store manager can create a statistical model to understand customer arrival times.
Error Correction - In business, making the right decisions is as important as optimizing business processes. Regression helps us make the right decisions and amend decisions already made.
Finance - Finance companies are always interested in minimizing risk portfolios and want to know the factors that can affect their customers. All of these can be predicted using regression models.
Economics - It is the most used tool to forecast supply, demand, consumption, inventory investment, etc.