How to Benchmark Your Tool of Choice with Minimal Work
aka The Absolute Minimal Benchmark
If your favorite software tool for machine learning (either open source or commercial) is not benchmarked here, you can get an idea of speed/accuracy with minimal work by following the instructions below.
Please benchmark random forests, it's both easy to train (no much tuning needed) and provides
pretty good accuracy. Use
100 trees and max depth
20. Keep the categorical
variables non-ordinal and do not do any feature engineering to improve accuracy.
Do the following (pseudocode) in your system:
train_data = read(train_data_file) test_data = read(test_data_file) model = train_random_forest(train_data, n_trees = 100, depth = 20) predictions = predict(model, test_data_without_labels) calculate_AUC(predictions, test_data_labels_only)
Here are the results for
n = 1M for a few software tools (on a r3.8xlarge EC2 instance 32 cores, 250GB RAM):
and for some others:
If you have results for other software tool(s), contact me by submitting a github issue. The main point would be to be able to train in a couple of minutes (and not crash out of memory), and get decent accuracy on a high-end commodity server/desktop (or in the cloud). Please submit software name, training set size, hardware (number of cores, RAM), training time, AUC on the test set (and number of trees/max depth if different from above).
Why binary classification and random forests? Because binary classification is the largest use case in machine learning applications, while random forests is the most widely used tool to deal with that after logistic regression (but linear models are usually less accurate). GBMs are also great, widely-used and most often more accurate, but they require more work (tuning, avoiding overfitting etc.) therefore the choice of RF for this very simple absolute minimal benchmark.
Why a mix of categorical and numeric features and 1 million records? Because most business applications have categorical features, and despite the big data hype most users have actually smaller datasets. While a majority of professionals usually do supervised learning on less than 1M records, there are a good number of users in the 10M and even 100M range, so the requirement to be able to run on 1M records is pretty much a minimum nowadays.
I would argue that you cannot have a decent out-of-the-box general machine learning tool (open source/commercial, command line/GUI-based, software/cloud service) without being able to do binary classification with random forest (or maybe GBM) on data with a mix of categorical and numeric features on 1 million records with decent training time and decent accuracy.
Here are some contributed measurements provided by others (mainly developers/vendors of other tools). While I'm not verifying the results, I think having them public is useful:
|Tool||n||Time (sec)||AUC||Contributor||HW||Cores||RAM (GB)||Comments|
|SAS EM||1M||430 (8 cores)||73.0||Longhow Lam||laptop||4/8(h)||32||got screenshots|