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Deep Dive into Polynomial Regression and Overfitting

In this article, we show that the issue with polynomial regression is not over-fitting, but numerical precision. Even if done right, numerical precision still remains an insurmountable challenge. We focus here on step-wise polynomial regression, which is supposed to be more stable than the traditional model. In step-wise regression, we estimate one coefficient at a time, using the classic least square technique. 

Even if the function to be estimated is very smooth, due to machine precision, only the first three or four coefficients can be accurately computed. With infinite precision, all coefficients would be correctly computed without over-fitting. We first explore this problem from a mathematical point of view in the next section, then provide recommendations for practical model implementations in the last section. 

This is also a good read for professionals with a math background interested in learning more about data science, as we start with some simple math, then discuss how it relates to data science. Also, this is an original article, not something you will learn in college classes or data camps, and it even features the solution to a linear regression involving an infinite number of variables.

Content of this article:

1. Polynomial regression for Taylor series

  • Stepwise polynomial regression: algorithm
  • Convergence theorem

2.Application to Real Life Regression Models

  • Recommendations for practical model implementation

Read the full article, here.

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