Genetic algorithm in the wavelet domain for large p small n regression

Eylem Deniz Howe, Orietta Nicolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Many areas of statistical modeling are plagued by the "curse of dimensionality," in which there are more variables than observations. This is especially true when developing functional regression models where the independent dataset is some type of spectral decomposition, such as data from near-infrared spectroscopy. While we could develop a very complex model by simply taking enough samples (such that n > p), this could prove impossible or prohibitively expensive. In addition, a regression model developed like this could turn out to be highly inefficient, as spectral data usually exhibit high multicollinearity. In this article, we propose a two-part algorithm for selecting an effective and efficient functional regression model. Our algorithm begins by evaluating a subset of discrete wavelet transformations, allowing for variation in both wavelet and filter number. Next, we perform an intermediate processing step to remove variables with low correlation to the response data. Finally, we use the genetic algorithm to perform a stochastic search through the subset regression model space, driven by an information-theoretic objective function. We allow our algorithm to develop the regression model for each response variable independently, so as to optimally model each variable. We demonstrate our method on the familiar biscuit dough dataset, which has been used in a similar context by several researchers. Our results demonstrate both the flexibility and the power of our algorithm. For each response variable, a different subset model is selected, and different wavelet transformations are used. The models developed by our algorithm show an improvement, as measured by lower mean error, over results in the published literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1157
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications in Statistics: Simulation and Computation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Functional regression
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Wavelet domain.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation


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