Principles

Introduction

My goal in this ebook is to get you most of the way towards creating powerful predictive models in a very short span of time, regardless of your prior experience!


Features that make this book valuable

There are many great resources, in print or on-line, for learning about Predictive Modeling. The following ideas make this work different and valuable to you:

  • Less is more: a key to the usefulness of this book is not only what is in it, but also what isn’t. I only include practically useful content and limit theoretical discussion. Especially when it comes to scientific content, quality is much more preferable than quantity.
  • Practice makes perfect: the best way to learn about predictive modeling is by doing it, and the book aims to make that transition easy & quick. The pages of this book contain working code which can be downloaded and run in a matter of minutes.
  • Working smarter not harder: A lot of predictive modeling practitioners (myself included) have experienced spending 80% of our time tinkering with software, coding, or data wrangling…and only 20% of the time on the actual business application. One aim of the e-book is to automate a lot of that work. In doing so, we can make our processes (and not just the algorithms) smarter.
  • Unique algorithms: the book contains original algorithms that I am experimenting with. It also contains heuristic adaptations of existing techniques geared for fast, practical, use.
  • Quick & easy: one does not need years of culinary training in order to cook up a wonderful meal. What we need is a good recipe and ingredients. Similarly, I believe that one does not need to be a mathematical savant1Being a savant helps for sure, however, special abilities are not necessary for exploring this field! in order to practice predictive modeling.
Book organization

A table of contents is presented here. Even though many pages in the table of contents are not yet hyperlinked, they illustrate where the book is headed. I am adding new content to the book every week. You can scroll below the table of contents to see recently uploaded pages.

Each page or post has several sections. There may be a prerequisite section at the start of the post containing links to other posts that should be read first. The post may have a video tutorial section as well as a download area for working code.

I hope that you enjoy my content and find it useful. Most importantly, I that hope you have fun learning & applying predictive modeling!

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