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Random Forrests for Multiclass classification: Random Multinomial Logit


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Several supervised learning algorithms are suited to classify instances into a multiclass value space. MultiNomial Logit (MNL) is recognized as a robust classifier and is commonly applied within the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) domain. Unfortunately, to date, it is unable to handle huge feature spaces typical of CRM applications. Hence, the analyst is forced to immerse himself into feature selection. Surprisingly, in sharp contrast with binary logit, current software packages lack any feature selection algorithm for MultiNomial Logit. Conversely, Random Forests, another algorithm learning multi class problems, is just like MNL robust but unlike MNL it easily handles high-dimensional feature spaces. This paper investigates the potential of applying the Random Forests principles to the MNL framework. We propose the Random MultiNomial Logit (RMNL), i.e. a random forest of MNLs, and compare its predictive performance to that of a) MNL with expert feature selection, b) Random Forests of classification trees. We illustrate the Random MultiNomial Logit on a cross-sell CRM problem within the home-appliances industry. The results indicate a substantial increase in model accuracy of the RMNL model to that of the MNL model with expert feature selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 07/435.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/435

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Keywords: multiclass classifier design and evaluation; feature evaluation and selection; data mining methods and algorithms; customer relationship management (CRM);

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  1. Buckinx, Wouter & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2005. "Customer base analysis: partial defection of behaviourally loyal clients in a non-contractual FMCG retail setting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 164(1), pages 252-268, July.
  2. Baltas, George & Doyle, Peter, 2001. "Random utility models in marketing research: a survey," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 115-125, February.
  3. Johnson, Michael D, 1984. " Consumer Choice Strategies for Comparing Noncomparable Alternatives," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 741-53, December.
  4. Anas, Alex, 1983. "Discrete choice theory, information theory and the multinomial logit and gravity models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-23, February.
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Cited by:
  1. K. W. De Bock & D. Van Den Poel, 2011. "An empirical evaluation of rotation-based ensemble classifiers for customer churn prediction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/717, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. Antipov, Evgeny & Pokryshevskaya, Elena, 2010. "Mass appraisal of residential apartments: An application of Random forest for valuation and a CART-based approach for model diagnostics," MPRA Paper 27645, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. De Bock, Koen W. & Coussement, Kristof & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2010. "Ensemble classification based on generalized additive models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1535-1546, June.
  4. Philippe Baecke & Dirk Van Den Poel, 2010. "Improving Purchasing Behavior Predictions By Data Augmentation With Situational Variables," International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making (IJITDM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(06), pages 853-872.
  5. J. Burez & D. Van Den Poel, 2008. "Handling class imbalance in customer churn prediction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/517, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.


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