Handling Imbalanced Datasets


In machine learning classification, imbalanced classes are a common problem. There is an uneven ratio of observations in each class. The dataset pre-processing is maybe the most significant step in building a Machine Learning model. In this article, we will understand that how to deal with categorical variables such as missing values and to scale the data.


Real datasets deal with many possible features. For example, it is valuable to reference the issue of imbalanced datasets. Imbalanced datasets repeatedly stand up in classification problems. There the classes are not in the same way distributed amongst the examples. Unluckily, this is rather a common problem in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Then we might not have an adequate number of training instances that permit us to properly predict the minority class.

Resampling methods

Resampling methods permit to either oversample the minority class or under-sample the majority class. This step may be done while trying the changed model’s method.

Oversampling the minority class

This simple and powerful plan lets one get balanced classes. It arbitrarily duplicates observations from the minority class acceptable to make its signal stronger. The easiest form of oversampling is sampling by means of replacement. Oversampling is appropriate when we don’t have a lot of observations in our dataset as<10K observations. The risk is if we duplicate moreover several observations, well then we are overfitting. The main disadvantage of this method is that it just adds duplicates of the forgoing examples that increasing the option of overfitting. We use the scikit-learn function resample to do so.

In [34]: train, test = train_test_split(df,



In [35]: major_class = train[train.Class==0]

minority_class = train[train.Class==1]

upsampled_class = resample(minority_class,




upsampled_data = pd.concat([major_class, upsampled_class])

In [36]: plt.figure(figsize=(8, 5))

t='Balanced Classes after upsampling.'

upsampled_data.Class.value_counts().plot(kind='bar', title=t)

Out[36]: <matplotlib.axes._subplots.AxesSubplot at 0x1153d0e80>

Oversampling the minority class

Under-sampling of the Majority Class

This situation states to removing instances from the majority class. It decreases the number of majority class observations used in the training set. By means of a result balances the number of observations of the two classes well. This is appropriate when we have a lot of observations in our dataset as >10K observations. The main disadvantage of this method is that eliminating units from the majority class might cause an important loss of information in the training set. That translates into likely under-fitting.

In [37]: down_class = resample(major_class,




downsampled_data = pd.concat([down_class, minority_class])

In [38]: plt.figure(figsize=(8, 5))

t='Balanced Classes after upsampling.'

downsampled_data.Class.value_counts().plot(kind='bar', title=t)

Out[38]: <matplotlib.axes._subplots.AxesSubplot at 0x1a35e92b70>

Under-sampling of the Majority Class

Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE)

This technique was planned by Chawla et al. (2002) as volition to arbitrary oversampling. How does it work? Well, it combines two ideas we’ve to consolidate so far arbitrary slice and k-nearest neighbours. Undeniably, SMOTE permits to produce new data from the nonage class (they don’t copy of the observed one, as in arbitrary resampling, and automatically computes the k-nns for those points. The synthetic points are added between the chosen point and its neighbors. Note that the imblearn API, which is part of the scikit- learn design, is used to apply the SMOTE in the following example;

In [39]: smote = SMOTE(sampling_strategy='minority')

X_smote, y_smote = smote.fit_sample(X_train, y_train)

X_smote = pd.DataFrame(X_smote, columns=X_train.columns )

y_smote = pd.DataFrame(y_smote, columns=['Class'])

In [40]: smote_data = pd.concat([X_smote,y_smote],axis=1)

plt.figure(figsize=(8, 5))

title='Balanced Classes using SMOTE'

smote_data.Class.value_counts().plot(kind='bar', title=title)

Out[40]: <matplotlib.axes._subplots.AxesSubplot at 0x1a36e25080>

Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE)

Use K-fold Cross-Validation in the right way

It’s noteworthy that cross-validation should be applied duly while using over-sampling system to address imbalance problems. Keep in mind that over-sampling takes observed rare samples and applies to bootstrap to induce new arbitrary data grounded on a distribution function. However, principally what we’re doing is overfitting our model to a specific artificial bootstrapping result, Ifcross-validation is applied after over-sampling. That’s why cross-validation should always be done before over-sampling the data, just as how-to-point selection should be enforced. Only by testing the data constantly, randomness can be introduced into the dataset to make sure that there won’t be an overfitting problem.

Design the own models

All the former styles think on the data and keep the models as a fixed element. But in fact, there’s no need to etest the data if the model is suited for imbalanced data. The notorious XG Boost is formerly a good starting point if the classes aren’t disposed of too much, because it internally takes care that the bags it trains on aren’t imbalanced. But also again, the data is checked, it’s just passing intimately.

By designing a cost function that’s chastising the wrong bracket of the rare class further than the wrong groups of the abundant class, it’s possible to design numerous models that naturally generalize in favor of the rare class. For illustration, tweaking an SVM to correct wrong groups of the rare class by the same rate that this class is underrepresented.