Feature Selection

The act of picking the most significant features to input in ML algorithms is known as feature selection, and it is one of the primary components of feature engineering. Feature selection strategies are used to minimize the number of input variables by removing redundant or unnecessary features and restricting the collection of features down to the ones that are most useful to the machine learning model.

Benefits of Feature Selection

The following are the primary advantages of completing feature selection in advance rather than relying on the machine learning model to determine which features are most important:

  • Shorter training times: Simpler models are easier to explain; a model that is excessively complicated and inexplicable is not valuable.
  • Increase the precision of the estimations that may be derived for a particular simulation by reducing variance.
  • To escape the curse of high dimensionality, follow these steps: The dimensionally cursed phenomenon asserts that when dimensionality and the number of features grow, the volume of space grows so quickly that the amount of data accessible shrinks – PCA feature selection can help reduce complexity.


Feature selection algorithms are classified as either supervised or unsupervised, depending on whether they may be utilized with labeled or unlabeled data. Filter methods, wrapper methods, embedding methods, and hybrid methods are the four types of unsupervised techniques:

  • Filter techniques: Rather than feature selection cross-validation performance, filter methods choose features based on statistics. To detect irrelevant qualities and execute recursive feature selection, a chosen metric is used. Filter techniques are either univariate, in which an ordered ranking list of features is created to guide the final selection of a feature subset or multivariate, in which the relevance of the features as a whole is evaluated, detecting duplicated and irrelevant characteristics.
  • Wrapper techniques approach feature selection as a search issue, with the quality of a set of features being judged by the preparation, assessment, and comparison of a set of features to other sets of features. This strategy makes it easier to spot potential interactions between variables. Wrapper approaches concentrate on feature subsets that will increase the quality of the clustering algorithm’s selection outcomes. Boruta feature selection and Forward feature selection are two popular examples.
  • Embedded selection approaches incorporate the feature ML algorithm as part of the learning procedure, allowing for simultaneous classification and feature selection. The characteristics that will have the greatest impact on each iteration of the model training process are carefully extracted. Embedded approaches such as random forest feature selection, decision tree feature selection, and LASSO feature selection are prevalent.

What’s best for you?

The optimum feature selection approach is determined by the input and output to be considered:

  • Numerical input and output- employ a correlation coefficient to solve a feature selection regression issue using numerical input variables.
  • Categorical output and numerical input feature selection classification challenge with numerical input variables – employ a correlation coefficient while keeping the categorical aim in mind.
  • Category input and numerical output employ a correlation coefficient to solve a regression predictive modeling issue using categorical input variables.
  • Categorical input and output employ a correlation coefficient to solve a classification predictive modeling issue using categorical input variables.

For data analysts, feature selection is a vital tool. Understanding how to choose essential characteristics in machine learning is critical to the algorithm’s effectiveness. Irrelevant, redundant, and noisy features can clog up a learning system, lowering performance, accuracy, and computing cost. As the amount and complexity of the typical dataset grow rapidly, feature selection becomes increasingly crucial.

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