Quote of the Week, June 20, 2007

These quotes are in the opposite spirit of the last two Bayesian quotes.
They are from the excellent “R”-based , Tutorial on Non-Parametrics given by
Chad Schafer and Larry Wassserman at the 2006 SAMSI Special Semester on AstroStatistics (or here ).

Chad and Larry were explaining trees:

For more sophistcated tree-searches, you might try Robert Nowak [and his former student, Becca Willett --- especially her "software" pages]. There is even Bayesian CART — Classifcation And Regression Trees. These can take 8 or 9 hours to “do it right”, via MCMC. BUT [these results] tend to be very close to [less rigorous] methods that take only minutes.

Trees are used primarily by doctors, for patients: it is much easier to follow a tree than a kernel estimator, in person.

Trees are much more ad-hoc than other methods we talked about, BUT they are very user friendly, very flexible.

In machine learning, which is only statistics done by computer scientists, they love trees.

One Comment
  1. hlee:

    To my knowledge, CART is a creation of Leo Breiman, late probabilist and professor of statistics. He grew not only a single tree but (random) forests. Surprisingly, trees attracted computer scientists more than statisticians. Search for “Leo Breiman” in the AstroStat Slog or http://hea-www.harvard.edu/AstroStat/slog/?s=leo+breiman for more information

    06-20-2007, 7:16 pm
Leave a comment