Which is the best model for my data?

Gonzalo Nápoles, Isel Grau, Çiçek Güven, Orçun Özdemir, Yamisleydi Salgueiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

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In this paper, we tackle the problem of selecting the optimal model for a given structured pattern classification dataset. In this context, a model can be understood as a classifier and a hyperparameter configuration. The proposed meta-learning approach purely relies on machine learning and involves four major steps. Firstly, we present a concise collection of 62 meta-features that address the problem of information cancellation when aggregation measure values involving positive and negative measurements. Secondly, we describe two different approaches for synthetic data generation intending to enlarge the training data. Thirdly, we fit a set of pre-defined classification models for each classification problem while optimizing their hyperparameters using grid search. The goal is to create a meta-dataset such that each row denotes a multilabel instance describing a specific problem. The features of these meta-instances denote the statistical properties of the generated datasets, while the labels encode the grid search results as binary vectors such that best-performing models are positively labeled. Finally, we tackle the model selection problem with several multilabel classifiers, including a Convolutional Neural Network designed to handle tabular data. The simulation results show that our meta-learning approach can correctly predict an optimal model for 91% of the synthetic datasets and for 87% of the real-world datasets. Furthermore, we noticed that most meta-classifiers produced better results when using our meta-features. Overall, our proposal differs from other meta-learning approaches since it tackles the algorithm selection and hyperparameter tuning problems in a single step. Toward the end, we perform a feature importance analysis to determine which statistical features drive the model selection mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2022


  • AutoML
  • Algorithm selection
  • Hyperparameter tuning


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