Re: [R] Lasso with Categorical Variables

From: David Winsemius <dwinsemius_at_comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 02 May 2011 11:47:52 -0700

On May 2, 2011, at 10:51 AM, Steve Lianoglou wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 12:45 PM, Clemontina Alexander <ckalexa2@ncsu.edu
> > wrote:
>> Hi! This is my first time posting. I've read the general rules and
>> guidelines, but please bear with me if I make some fatal error in
>> posting. Anyway, I have a continuous response and 29 predictors made
>> up of continuous variables and nominal and ordinal categorical
>> variables. I'd like to do lasso on these, but I get an error. The way
>> I am using "lars" doesn't allow for the factors. Is there a special
>> option or some other method in order to do lasso with cat. variables?
>>
>> Here is and example (considering ordinal variables as just nominal):
>>
>> set.seed(1)
>> Y <- rnorm(10,0,1)
>> X1 <- factor(sample(x=LETTERS[1:4], size=10, replace = TRUE))
>> X2 <- factor(sample(x=LETTERS[5:10], size=10, replace = TRUE))
>> X3 <- sample(x=30:55, size=10, replace=TRUE) # think age
>> X4 <- rchisq(10, df=4, ncp=0)
>> X <- data.frame(X1,X2,X3,X4)
>>
>>> str(X)
>> 'data.frame': 10 obs. of 4 variables:
>> $ X1: Factor w/ 4 levels "A","B","C","D": 4 1 3 1 2 2 1 2 4 2
>> $ X2: Factor w/ 5 levels "E","F","G","H",..: 3 4 3 2 5 5 5 1 5 3
>> $ X3: int 51 46 50 44 43 50 30 42 49 48
>> $ X4: num 2.86 1.55 1.94 2.45 2.75 ...
>>
>>
>> I'd like to do:
>> obj <- lars(x=X, y=Y, type = "lasso")
>>
>> Instead, what I have been doing is converting all data to continuous
>> but I think this is really bad!

>
> Yeah, it is.
>
> Check out the "Categorical Predictor Variables" section here for a way
> to handle such predictor vars:
> http://www.psychstat.missouristate.edu/multibook/mlt08m.html

Steve's citation is somewhat helpful, but not sufficient to take the next steps. You can find details regarding the mechanics of typical linear regression in R on the ?lm page where you find that the factor variables are typically handled by model.matrix. See below:

 > model.matrix(~X1 + X2 + X3 + X4, X)

    (Intercept) X1B X1C X1D X2F X2G X2H X2I X3        X4
1            1   0   0   1   0   1   0   0 51 2.8640884
2            1   0   0   0   0   0   1   0 46 1.5462243
3            1   0   1   0   0   1   0   0 50 1.9430901
4            1   0   0   0   1   0   0   0 44 2.4504180
5            1   1   0   0   0   0   0   1 43 2.7535052
6            1   1   0   0   0   0   0   1 50 1.6200326
7            1   0   0   0   0   0   0   1 30 0.5750533
8            1   1   0   0   0   0   0   0 42 5.9224777
9            1   0   0   1   0   0   0   1 49 2.0401528
10           1   1   0   0   0   1   0   0 48 6.2995288
attr(,"assign")
  [1] 0 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4
attr(,"contrasts")
attr(,"contrasts")$X1
[1] "contr.treatment"

attr(,"contrasts")$X2
[1] "contr.treatment"

The numeric variables are passed through, while the dummy variables for factor columns are constructed (as treatment contrasts) and the whole thing it returned in a neat package.

-- 
David.

>
> HTH,
> -steve
>
-- David Winsemius, MD Heritage Laboratories West Hartford, CT ______________________________________________ R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Received on Thu 05 May 2011 - 06:25:06 GMT

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