top of page

Bagging Ensemble Method



9 Min


Model Type:


in python for free learn how to use the machine learning model bagging with decision trees, kneighbors, support vector bagged inside this powerful ensemble method.  Free learning for students.

About the Model

Bagging, which stands for Bootstrap Aggregating, is a powerful ensemble method in machine learning. In this technique, we aim to improve the performance and robustness of a predictive model by creating multiple subsets of the original dataset through a process called bootstrapping. Each subset is used to train a separate base model, typically a decision tree or any other model with high variance and low bias. These base models, known as "bagged models," are then combined through a weighted or unweighted averaging process to make predictions. The key idea behind bagging is to reduce variance by averaging out the fluctuations and errors associated with individual models, resulting in a more stable and accurate ensemble model. Bagging is a fundamental building block for ensemble methods like Random Forest and has proven to be highly effective in improving model generalization and reducing overfitting.

When using the BaggingClassifier or Regressor, you have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of base models, which are often referred to as "weak learners." The choice of base model depends on the characteristics of your dataset and the problem you're trying to solve. Here are some common base models that can be used with the BaggingClassifier:

Decision Trees: Decision trees are a popular choice as base models due to their simplicity and ability to capture complex relationships in data. Bagging with decision trees is the foundation of the Random Forest algorithm.

Logistic Regression: Logistic regression is well-suited for binary classification problems. Bagging with logistic regression can be useful when you want to improve the stability of this linear model.

k-Nearest Neighbors (k-NN): k-NN is a non-parametric algorithm that can be used for both classification and regression tasks. Bagging can help reduce the variance of k-NN predictions.

Support Vector Machines (SVM): SVMs are powerful classifiers for binary and multi-class problems. Bagging with SVMs can enhance their robustness and generalization.

Free Python Coding Example on Bagging Classifier Ensemble method

A Little Bit More about the Bagging Ensemble Method

Bagging with a decision tree and a Random Forest are similar in that they both use an ensemble of decision trees to improve predictive performance. However, there are key differences between the two approaches that make Random Forest a more powerful and robust ensemble method. Let me explain these differences in the context of your inquiry:

Bagging with Decision Tree:

Bootstrap Sampling: In bagging with a decision tree, multiple decision trees are trained independently on bootstrapped subsets of the training data. Each tree is constructed without any constraints on feature selection, which means that all features are considered when making splits at each node.

No Feature Subset Selection: There is no feature subset selection or feature importance assessment in individual decision trees. This means that each tree can potentially be highly correlated with others if certain features dominate the decision-making process.

Voting: During prediction, the outputs of all decision trees are combined using a majority vote (for classification) or averaging (for regression). This ensemble approach helps to reduce variance and improve model stability but may still suffer from high correlation among trees.

Random Forest:

Bootstrap Sampling: Random Forest also employs bootstrap sampling to create multiple decision trees. However, it introduces an additional layer of randomness during tree construction.

Feature Subset Selection: In Random Forest, at each node of each decision tree, only a random subset of features is considered for making the split. This feature selection process introduces diversity among trees and helps to reduce overfitting.

Voting with Decorrelated Trees: Random Forest combines the outputs of individual decision trees through majority voting (for classification) or averaging (for regression). However, because the trees are constructed with feature subsets and some randomness, they tend to be more decorrelated compared to simple bagged decision trees.

Key Differences and Advantages of Random Forest:

Random Forest is designed to decorrelate the individual trees, which reduces the ensemble's variance and makes it less prone to overfitting.

The feature subset selection in Random Forest introduces diversity among the trees, which can lead to better generalization and improved performance.

Random Forest often provides more robust and accurate results compared to simple bagging with decision trees, especially when dealing with high-dimensional data or data with many irrelevant features.

In summary, while both bagging with decision trees and Random Forest involve training multiple decision trees and combining their outputs, Random Forest introduces randomness in feature selection and tree construction, leading to more diverse and often more accurate ensembles. This diversity and decorrelation among trees are key factors that set Random Forest apart and make it a powerful ensemble method in machine learning.

Data Science Learning Communities

Real World Application of Bagging Ensemble Method

  1. Random Forest for Image Classification:

    • One of the most famous applications of bagging is the Random Forest algorithm. In image classification tasks, such as recognizing handwritten digits or classifying objects in photos, Random Forest can be employed. It creates an ensemble of decision trees, each trained on a random subset of the training data. The final prediction is made by aggregating the votes of these trees, resulting in a robust and accurate classifier.

  2. Medical Diagnosis:

    • Bagging can be used in the field of medical diagnosis. Imagine a scenario where you want to predict whether a patient has a particular disease based on various medical tests and patient history. Multiple decision tree classifiers trained on different subsets of patient data can be combined to create a more reliable diagnostic system.

  3. Customer Churn Prediction:

    • In the business world, predicting customer churn (when customers stop using a service or product) is crucial for customer retention. Bagging can be applied by training an ensemble of classifiers on different subsets of customer data, each with different features or time frames. The aggregated predictions can provide a better understanding of which customers are likely to churn.

  4. Spam Email Detection:

    • Bagging can be used to enhance the performance of spam email classifiers. By training multiple spam classifiers on subsets of email data, you can create a robust ensemble that is less likely to misclassify spam as legitimate emails or vice versa.

  5. Stock Price Prediction:

    • In finance, predicting stock prices is a challenging task. Bagging can be employed to create an ensemble of regression models to predict stock prices. Each model may focus on different features or time intervals, and their predictions can be combined to create a more accurate forecast.

  6. Credit Risk Assessment:

    • Banks and financial institutions often use bagging techniques to assess credit risk. By training multiple credit scoring models on different subsets of historical data, they can make more accurate predictions about the creditworthiness of loan applicants.

free bagging classifier training how to use sklearn's bagging ensemble method with a support vector machine in ML
how to build the best bagging classifier using KNeighbors classifier in sklearn
built a great ensemble method with logistic regressiona and bagging classifier in Python using sklearn
how best to use the bagging ensemble to beat the random forest and how you can make bagging better than random forest
bottom of page