Typical training data set for real world machine learning problems has mixture of different types of data including numerical and categorical. Many machine learning algorithms can not handle categorical variables. Those that can, categorical data can pose a serious problem if they have high cardinality i.e too many unique values.
In this post we will go though a technique to convert high cardinality categorical attributes to numerical values, based on how the categorical variable correlates with the class or target variable. The Map Reduce implementations are available Continue reading
Most supervised Machine Learning algorithms face difficulty when there is class imbalance in the training data i.e., amount of data belonging one class heavily outnumber the other class. However, there are may real life problems where we encounter this situation e.g., fraud, customer churn and machine failure. There are various techniques to address this thorny problem of class imbalance.
In this post we will go over a technique based on oversampling o the minority class data called Synthetic Minority Over-sampling Technique (SMOTE). We will go into the details of a Hadoop based implementation using machine failure data Continue reading
Measuring campaign effectiveness is critical for any company to justify the marketing money being spent. Consider a company providing a free online service on signup. It’s critical for the company to convert them so that they subscribe to a paid service as soon as possible.
In this post, we will use simple statistical techniques to find the relative merits for different campaigns in terms of effectiveness which is measured by conversions. The Spark based solution is available Continue reading
Missing values are just part of life in the data processing world. In most cases you can not simply ignore the missing values as it may adversely affect whatever analytic processing you are going to do. Broadly speaking, handling missing data consists of two steps, gaining some insight on missing fields in the data and then taking some actions based on the insight gained from the first step. In this post the focus will be primarily on the first step.
The Hadoop based implementation is available in my OSS project chombo on github. In future Continue reading
Optimizing assignment of people to projects is a very complex problem and classical optimization techniques are not very useful. The topic this post is a project assignment optimization problem where people should be assigned to projects in a way that will minimize the cost.
This kind of optimization problems involving discrete or categorical variables are called combinatorial optimization problems and they generally don’t have analytical solution. You have to resort to other non conventional techniques. However, these alternative techniques won’t guarantee optimal solution. Simulated Annealing is one such technique and broadly comes under category of algorithms called Stochastic Optimization.
We will discuss solution of the project assignment optimization problem using Simulated Annealing implemented on Spark. The Scala based implementation Continue reading
The other day someone asked me how to include products with seasonal demand in recommendations based on collaborative filtering or some other technique. The solution to the problem involves two steps. The first step is to identify products with seasonal demand. The second step involves merging two ranked lists, one list being the recommendation list based on some recommendation algorithm, the other being the list of products with seasonal demand. The second list is a function of time.
Our focus in this post is on the first problem. As we will explore here in this post, products with seasonal demand can be found with some simple statistical technique. The solution Continue reading
When customers hangup after a long wait in a call, it’s money wasted for the company. Moreover, it leaves the customer with a poor experience. It would have been nice, if we could predict in real time while the customer is on hold, how likely is the customer to hangup and based on the prediction give queue priority to the customer or take some other action.
In this post, we will discuss a Decision Tree and Random Forest based solution implemented on Hadoop. Random forest is Continue reading