+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Cross-validation pitfalls when selecting and assessing regression and classification models


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          We address the problem of selecting and assessing classification and regression models using cross-validation. Current state-of-the-art methods can yield models with high variance, rendering them unsuitable for a number of practical applications including QSAR. In this paper we describe and evaluate best practices which improve reliability and increase confidence in selected models. A key operational component of the proposed methods is cloud computing which enables routine use of previously infeasible approaches.


          We describe in detail an algorithm for repeated grid-search V-fold cross-validation for parameter tuning in classification and regression, and we define a repeated nested cross-validation algorithm for model assessment. As regards variable selection and parameter tuning we define two algorithms (repeated grid-search cross-validation and double cross-validation), and provide arguments for using the repeated grid-search in the general case.


          We show results of our algorithms on seven QSAR datasets. The variation of the prediction performance, which is the result of choosing different splits of the dataset in V-fold cross-validation, needs to be taken into account when selecting and assessing classification and regression models.


          We demonstrate the importance of repeating cross-validation when selecting an optimal model, as well as the importance of repeating nested cross-validation when assessing a prediction error.

          Related collections

          Most cited references12

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Selection bias in gene extraction on the basis of microarray gene-expression data.

          In the context of cancer diagnosis and treatment, we consider the problem of constructing an accurate prediction rule on the basis of a relatively small number of tumor tissue samples of known type containing the expression data on very many (possibly thousands) genes. Recently, results have been presented in the literature suggesting that it is possible to construct a prediction rule from only a few genes such that it has a negligible prediction error rate. However, in these results the test error or the leave-one-out cross-validated error is calculated without allowance for the selection bias. There is no allowance because the rule is either tested on tissue samples that were used in the first instance to select the genes being used in the rule or because the cross-validation of the rule is not external to the selection process; that is, gene selection is not performed in training the rule at each stage of the cross-validation process. We describe how in practice the selection bias can be assessed and corrected for by either performing a cross-validation or applying the bootstrap external to the selection process. We recommend using 10-fold rather than leave-one-out cross-validation, and concerning the bootstrap, we suggest using the so-called .632+ bootstrap error estimate designed to handle overfitted prediction rules. Using two published data sets, we demonstrate that when correction is made for the selection bias, the cross-validated error is no longer zero for a subset of only a few genes.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: found
            Is Open Access

            Bias in error estimation when using cross-validation for model selection

            Background Cross-validation (CV) is an effective method for estimating the prediction error of a classifier. Some recent articles have proposed methods for optimizing classifiers by choosing classifier parameter values that minimize the CV error estimate. We have evaluated the validity of using the CV error estimate of the optimized classifier as an estimate of the true error expected on independent data. Results We used CV to optimize the classification parameters for two kinds of classifiers; Shrunken Centroids and Support Vector Machines (SVM). Random training datasets were created, with no difference in the distribution of the features between the two classes. Using these "null" datasets, we selected classifier parameter values that minimized the CV error estimate. 10-fold CV was used for Shrunken Centroids while Leave-One-Out-CV (LOOCV) was used for the SVM. Independent test data was created to estimate the true error. With "null" and "non null" (with differential expression between the classes) data, we also tested a nested CV procedure, where an inner CV loop is used to perform the tuning of the parameters while an outer CV is used to compute an estimate of the error. The CV error estimate for the classifier with the optimal parameters was found to be a substantially biased estimate of the true error that the classifier would incur on independent data. Even though there is no real difference between the two classes for the "null" datasets, the CV error estimate for the Shrunken Centroid with the optimal parameters was less than 30% on 18.5% of simulated training data-sets. For SVM with optimal parameters the estimated error rate was less than 30% on 38% of "null" data-sets. Performance of the optimized classifiers on the independent test set was no better than chance. The nested CV procedure reduces the bias considerably and gives an estimate of the error that is very close to that obtained on the independent testing set for both Shrunken Centroids and SVM classifiers for "null" and "non-null" data distributions. Conclusion We show that using CV to compute an error estimate for a classifier that has itself been tuned using CV gives a significantly biased estimate of the true error. Proper use of CV for estimating true error of a classifier developed using a well defined algorithm requires that all steps of the algorithm, including classifier parameter tuning, be repeated in each CV loop. A nested CV procedure provides an almost unbiased estimate of the true error.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found
              Is Open Access

              A survey of cross-validation procedures for model selection

              Used to estimate the risk of an estimator or to perform model selection, cross-validation is a widespread strategy because of its simplicity and its apparent universality. Many results exist on the model selection performances of cross-validation procedures. This survey intends to relate these results to the most recent advances of model selection theory, with a particular emphasis on distinguishing empirical statements from rigorous theoretical results. As a conclusion, guidelines are provided for choosing the best cross-validation procedure according to the particular features of the problem in hand.

                Author and article information

                J Cheminform
                J Cheminform
                Journal of Cheminformatics
                BioMed Central
                29 March 2014
                : 6
                : 10
                [1 ]Research Centre for Cheminformatics, Jasenova 7, 11030 Beograd, Serbia
                [2 ]Laboratory for Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Vojvode Stepe 444a, 11010 Beograd, Serbia
                [3 ]Clinical Persona Inc, 932 Mouton Circle, East Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
                [4 ]Molplex Pharmaceuticals, Alderly Park, Macclesfield SK10 4TF, UK
                [5 ]Cyprotex Discovery Ltd, 15 Beech Lane, Macclesfield SK10 2DR, UK
                Copyright © 2014 Krstajic et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.




                Comment on this article