ofw: An R Package to Select Continuous Variables for Multiclass Classification with a Stochastic Wrapper Method

Kim-Anh Lê Cao, Patrick Chabrier

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When dealing with high dimensional and low sample size data, feature selection is often needed to help reduce the dimension of the variable space while optimizing the classification task. Few tools exist for selecting variables in such data sets, especially when classes are numerous (>2). We have developed ofw, an R package that implements, in the context of classification, the meta algorithm "optimal feature weighting". We focus on microarray data, although the method can be applied to any p >> n problems with continuous variables. The aim is to select relevant variables and to numerically evaluate the resulting variable selection. Two versions are proposed with the application of supervised multiclass classifiers such as classification and regression trees and support vector machines. Furthermore, a weighted approach can be chosen to deal with unbalanced multiclasses, a common characteristic in microarray data sets.

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