Adventures in Machine Learning

Boosting Accuracy with Gradient Boosting Model in Python

Introduction to Gradient Boosting Model in Python

Machine learning is a rapidly growing field that has seen an explosion in popularity over recent years. One key area of machine learning is classification and regression.

Boosting techniques are one such approach that provides a high degree of accuracy in learning and prediction when dealing with these kinds of problems. In this article, we will focus on one of the most popular boosting techniques called Gradient Boosting and how it can be implemented using Python.

Boosting Technique in Machine Learning

Boosting is a machine learning technique that focuses on creating a strong, accurate predictive model from a set of weak models. The idea behind the approach is to develop a combination of weak models into a stronger ensemble model.

Every individual weak model in an ensemble model is designed to focus on a particular subset of the data, allowing for an accurate classification or regression. Boosting uses the weak model to identify the most difficult examples in the training set, and sequentially train a number of successive weak models to improve on those areas.

This ultimately leads to an accurate classification or regression model.

Gradient Boosting Algorithm

Gradient Boosting Algorithm is a boosting technique that can be used for both regression and classification. It is a prediction model that operates by iteratively constructing a set of weak models of the error residuals and then boosting to enhance the accuracy of each subsequent weak model.

With each iteration, it tends to allocate more weight to examples that are misclassified in the previous iteration. The algorithm builds a strong predictive model by adding a new weak model with an error term to the previous model in each iteration.

The algorithm is iterative and relies heavily on the previous model’s output, reaching its completion when the learner is satisfied with the predictions’ accuracy or when the algorithm reaches the maximum number of learners as specified by the developer.

Gradient Boosting Model Implementation

Loading and segregating Bike Rental Count Prediction dataset

To demonstrate the functionality of the gradient boosting algorithm using Python, we will work with a dataset called “Bike Rental Count Prediction” from U.S. bike-share service providers. This dataset contains approximately 17,500 hours of data spanning two years, from January 2011 to December 2012.

We will be loading this dataset using the Pandas read_csv() function and then segregating it into training and testing datasets using the train_test_split() function.

Evaluation of algorithm using MAPE as an error metric

To evaluate the Gradient Boosting algorithm’s performance, we will use Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) as an error metric. It is a statistical measure that calculates the average deviation between the actual and predicted values.

The formula for MAPE is:

MAPE = (1/n)*(|actual – predicted|/actual) * 100%

MAPE provides a measure of how wrong the predictions are in percentage terms. The greater the percentage, the more inaccurate the model’s predictions will be.

A lower percentage indicates that the model’s predictions are close to the actual values.

Steps to implement Gradient Boosting Model using GradientBoostingRegressor() function

1. First, we will import GradientBoostingRegressor() from the scikit-learn library.

2. Then, we will create an instance of the GradientBoostingRegressor() function.

3. Specify the number of weak learners, the maximum depth, the learning rate, and other hyperparameters.

These hyperparameters’ value can be specified based on trial and error or a grid search. 4.

Fit the model using the train dataset. 5.

Predict the model’s output using the test dataset. 6.

Evaluate the model’s performance using the MAPE metric. Gradient Boosting is a powerful technique that produces highly accurate models.

However, it is prone to overfitting. The most popular methods that can be used to prevent overfitting are early stopping and regularization.

Early stopping is a technique that stops model training when the performance on the validation dataset stops improving. Regularization is a technique that adds a penalty term to the loss function to reduce model complexity and prevent overfitting.


Gradient Boosting is a powerful boosting technique that can be used for both classification and regression problems. Its iterative nature and ability to learn from past mistakes make it an accurate predictor of data.

With the help of Python, it is relatively easy to implement and test gradient boosting models to yield highly accurate model predictions. By using MAPE as an evaluation metric, it is possible to assess how accurate the model’s predictions are in percentage terms.

Gradient Boosting can be prone to overfitting, but techniques such as early stopping and regularization can be applied to minimize this issue.

Accuracy of Gradient Boosting Model

In machine learning, a predictive model’s accuracy is a measure of how accurately the model can predict outcomes. Gradient Boosting is a powerful technique that can be applied to various use cases, and its accuracy is one of its key advantages.

It is best suited for problems that are not easily solved with other traditional machine learning algorithms. Gradient Boosting works by iteratively building up models to correct the errors of previous models.

This results in a more accurate model with each iteration. The final model produced by Gradient Boosting is an ensemble of weak models, which come together to form a single, more accurate model.

There are several reasons why Gradient Boosting is more accurate compared to other machine learning algorithms. Firstly, the algorithm is highly adaptable to different data types.

It can be used for both classification and regression problems and can handle both categorical and continuous data. Secondly, Gradient Boosting is a powerful technique that is capable of modeling complex relationships in the data.

By iteratively building up models, it can handle non-linear relationships between features. Thirdly, Gradient Boosting can handle outliers and missing data effectively, which is not the case with other machine learning algorithms.

Lastly, Gradient Boosting’s ensemble of weak models contributes to its accuracy. By merging the predictions of several weak models, it can create a more rigourous model that has fewer prediction errors compared to simple models.

There are also several factors that can impact the accuracy of a Gradient Boosting model. They are:


Hyperparameters – The accuracy of a Gradient Boosting model is highly dependent on the choice of hyperparameters. Hyperparameters are values that are set before the model is trained.

Examples of hyperparameters are the learning rate and the number of trees to build. Optimizing hyperparameters is an important step in improving the accuracy of Gradient Boosting models.

2. Feature Selection – Feature selection is the process of selecting the most relevant features for the model.

By selecting only the most relevant features, the accuracy of the model can be improved. Feature selection reduces the noise in the data, and this reduces the chances of overfitting.

3. Data Quality- The quality of the data fed into the model directly affects the model’s accuracy.

Data quality can be affected by missing values, noise, or data inconsistencies. To improve the accuracy of a Gradient Boosting model, it is essential to use high-quality data.

4. Overfitting – Gradient Boosting is susceptible to overfitting.

Overfitting happens when the model is too complex, and it learns the training data’s noise instead of learning the underlying patterns. Overfitting can be minimized by making the model less complex or by using techniques such as cross-validation, regularization, and early stopping.

In conclusion, Gradient Boosting is a powerful technique that can be used to model complex relationships in data. Its accuracy can be improved through careful selection of hyperparameters, feature selection, high-quality data, and minimizing overfitting.

With these factors adequately addressed, the Gradient Boosting algorithm can be leveraged to produce highly accurate models that are capable of solving complex problems. Gradient Boosting is a powerful machine learning technique that produces highly accurate models for both classification and regression problems.

Its iterative nature and ensemble of weak models make it capable of modeling complex relationships in data effectively. While optimizing hyperparameters, selecting relevant features, using high-quality data, and minimizing overfitting can improve accuracy, Gradient Boosting remains one of the most exceptional boosting techniques in machine learning today.

As such, it is essential to consider this technique when trying to solve complex problems that are not easily solved with other traditional machine learning algorithms, thus exploring the potential benefits of its use.