Random Forests

What are Random Forests?

Random Forests are an ensemble learning method used for both classification and regression tasks. They work by constructing a multitude of decision trees at training time and outputting the class that is the mode of the classes (classification) or mean prediction (regression) of the individual trees. Random Forests help to mitigate the problem of overfitting in decision trees by averaging multiple tree predictions, which in turn leads to improved model performance and generalization.

How do Random Forests work?

Random Forests work by following these steps:

  1. Bootstrap sampling: Randomly sample the data with replacement to create multiple subsets of the original dataset.
  2. Decision tree creation: For each subset, create a decision tree. At each node of the tree, select a random subset of features and find the best split based on those features.
  3. Aggregation: For classification, the final prediction is obtained by aggregating the votes from all trees and selecting the class with the majority vote. For regression, the final prediction is the average of the predictions from all trees.

Example of using Random Forests in Python:

To use Random Forests in Python, you can use the scikit-learn library:

from sklearn.ensemble import RandomForestClassifier
from sklearn.datasets import load_iris
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

# Load the iris dataset
iris = load_iris()
X = iris.data
y = iris.target

# Split the data into train and test sets
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=0.3, random_state=42)

# Create a Random Forest classifier
clf = RandomForestClassifier(n_estimators=100, random_state=42)

# Train the classifier
clf.fit(X_train, y_train)

# Test the classifier
accuracy = clf.score(X_test, y_test)
print("Accuracy:", accuracy)

Additional resources on Random Forests: