Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SAS Global Forum Paper 089-2013 (CART)

This was a nice paper illustrating and explaining CART (classification and regression trees).

089-2013  Using Classification and Regression Trees (CART) in SAS® Enterprise Miner™ for Applications in Public Health

"They (CARTs) are typically model free in their implementation. Howbeit, a model based statistic is sometimes used for a splitting criterion. The main idea of a classification tree is a statistician’s version of the popular twenty questions game. Several questions are asked with the aim of answering a particular research question at hand. However, they are advantageous because of their non -parametric and non- linear nature. They do not make any distribution assumptions and treat the data generation process as unknown and do not require a functional form for the predictors. They also do not assume additivity of the predictors which allows them to identify complex interactions. Tree methods are probably one of the most easily interpreted  statistical techniques. They can be followed with little or no understanding of Statistics and to a certain extent follow the decision process that humans use to make decisions. In this regard, they are conceptually simple yet present a powerful analysis (Hastie et al 2009)."

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