A New Typology Design of Performance Metrics to Measure Errors in Machine Learning Regression Algorithms

Alexei Botchkarev
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 14  •  2019  •  pp. 045-076

The aim of this study was to analyze various performance metrics and approaches to their classification. The main goal of the study was to develop a new typology that will help to advance knowledge of metrics and facilitate their use in machine learning regression algorithms

Performance metrics (error measures) are vital components of the evaluation frameworks in various fields. A performance metric can be defined as a logical and mathematical construct designed to measure how close are the actual results from what has been expected or predicted. A vast variety of performance metrics have been described in academic literature. The most commonly mentioned metrics in research studies are Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE), etc. Knowledge about metrics properties needs to be systematized to simplify the design and use of the metrics.

A qualitative study was conducted to achieve the objectives of identifying related peer-reviewed research studies, literature reviews, critical thinking and inductive reasoning.

The main contribution of this paper is in ordering knowledge of performance metrics and enhancing understanding of their structure and properties by proposing a new typology, generic primary metrics mathematical formula and a visualization chart

Based on the analysis of the structure of numerous performance metrics, we proposed a framework of metrics which includes four (4) categories: primary metrics, extended metrics, composite metrics, and hybrid sets of metrics. The paper identified three (3) key components (dimensions) that determine the structure and properties of primary metrics: method of determining point distance, method of normalization, method of aggregation of point distances over a data set. For each component, implementation options have been identified. The suggested new typology has been shown to cover a total of over 40 commonly used primary metrics

Presented findings can be used to facilitate teaching performance metrics to university students and expedite metrics selection and implementation processes for practitioners

By using the proposed typology, researchers can streamline development of new metrics with predetermined properties

The outcomes of this study could be used for improving evaluation results in machine learning regression, forecasting and prognostics with direct or indirect positive impacts on innovation and productivity in a societal sense

Future research is needed to examine the properties of the extended metrics, composite metrics, and hybrid sets of metrics. Empirical study of the metrics is needed using R Studio or Azure Machine Learning Studio, to find associations between the properties of primary metrics and their “numerical” behavior in a wide spectrum of data characteristics and business or research requirements

performance metrics, error measures, accuracy measures, distance, similarity, dissimilarity, properties, typology, classification, machine learning, regression, forecasting, prognostics, prediction, evaluation, estimation, modeling
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