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Random Forest

What is Random Forest?

Random Forest is a sophisticated and adaptable supervised machine learning technique that creates and combines a large number of decision trees to create a "forest". This can be used to solve classification and regression problems. A number of decision trees are used on distinct subsets of the same dataset, and the average is used to improve the dataset's projected accuracy. The random forest collects the data of each tree and forecasts the future based on the majority of predictions, rather than relying on a single decision tree.


Working of Random Forest

In a random forest, each tree randomly picks subsets of the training data, a process known as bootstrap aggregation. The model is fitted to the smaller data sets, and the predictions are summed or max-voted. Many versions of the same data can be used again through replacement sampling, decision trees that not only use diverse characteristics when making decisions but are also trained on multiple sets of data. Each decision tree in a random forest makes predictions on its own, and the values are then averaged for regression tasks or max-voted for classification tasks to determine the outcome.


Why is Random Forest important?

The key benefits of the Random Forest Algorithm are decreased overfitting risks and shorter training times. It also provides an exceptionally high level of precision. When used to estimate missing data, the Random Forest algorithm operates well in big databases and generates extremely accurate predictions.


Listed below are a few advantages:

  • It is able to carry out both classification and regression tasks.

  • It manages missing values and keeps accuracy high even when significant quantities of data are missing.

  • It is compatible with continuous and categorical values.

  • It employs a rule-based approach, therefore normalizing the data is not necessary.

  • The most significant characteristics from the training data set can be found using Random Forest.

How is Random Forest used?

Random forest is used for both classification and regression to determine whether an email is spam.

Besides that, Data scientists use random forests in many industries, including banking, stock trading, medicine, and e-commerce. The information is used to predict things that help these industries run smoothly, such as customer activity, patient history, and safety.

In banking, random forest is used to detect customers who are more likely to repay their debts on time. The data can also predict who will use a bank's services more frequently. It can even be used to detect fraud.

Stock traders use random forests to predict stock price movements. Retail companies use it to recommend products and predict customer satisfaction.

Researchers in China used random forests to study the spontaneous combustion patterns of coal and reduce safety risks in coal mines.

Lastly, random forests are used to analyze medical records to identify diseases in healthcare. Pharmaceutical scientists use random forests to predict drug sensitivity or identify the correct combination of components in a medication. Random forest can even be used for computational biology and genetics.


Random Forest vs. Other Technologies & Methodologies

Random Forest vs. Decision Tree

The fundamental difference between a random forest algorithm and a Decision Tree is that Decision Trees are graphs that illustrate all possible outcomes of a decision using a branching approach. In contrast, the random forest algorithm produces a set of decision trees based on the output.

Overfitting and inaccurate results are possible with Decision Trees, but the opposite is true for random forests.

Lastly, Decision Trees are more straightforward to understand, interpret, and visualize than random forests.

Random Forest vs. Xgboost

Xgboost (eXtreme Gradient Boosting) provides machine learning algorithms using the gradient boosting framework.

It supports major operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. It can run on a single machine or in a distributed environment with frameworks such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Apache Flink, Dask, and DataFlow.

The library supports a variety of programming languages, including C++, Python, Java, R, Julia, Perl, and Scala.

Random forest is an ensemble learning algorithm that constructs many decision trees during training. For classification tasks, it predicts the mode of the classes, and for regression tasks, it indicates the mean of the trees.

Random subspace and bagging are used during tree construction and have built-in feature importance.

Boosting is an iterative method for learning where the model initially makes a prediction and then analyzes its mistakes and gives more weight to the incorrect data points. In contrast, a random forest is simply a collection of trees in which each tree gives a prediction. At the end of the process, we collect the projections from all the trees and use the mean, median, or mode of this collection as our prediction, depending on the data type (continuous or categorical).

Random Forest vs. Logistic Regression

Generally, logistic regression is better when the number of noise variables is less than or equal to the number of explanatory variables. Random forest is better as the number of explanatory variables increases. In addition, a logistic regression model is based on a path analysis approach, which uses a generalized linear equation to describe the directed dependencies of a set of variables and a random forest top-down induction model to classify and predict. Combining many decision trees (CARTs).

Random Forest vs. Bagging

Bagging is an ensemble algorithm that fits multiple models on different subsets of a training dataset and then combines all the models' predictions. Random forest is an extension of bagging in which the subsets of features in every data sample are selected randomly. The fundamental difference is that in random forests, only a subset of features is chosen randomly. The best split feature from the subset is used to split each node in a tree, unlike bagging, in which all features are considered to split each node.

Besides that, Bagging improves the accuracy and stability of Machine Learning models using ensemble learning. It reduces the complexity of overfitting models, whereas random forest’s algorithm is robust against overfitting and is good with unbalanced and missing data.