Improving Performance of ML Models

Performance Improvement with Ensembles

Ensembles can give us boost in the machine learning result by combining several models. Basically, ensemble models consist of several individually trained supervised learning models and their results are merged in various ways to achieve better predictive performance compared to a single model. Ensemble methods can be divided into following two groups −

Sequential ensemble methods

As the name implies, in these kind of ensemble methods, the base learners are generated sequentially. The motivation of such methods is to exploit the dependency among base learners.

Parallel ensemble methods

As the name implies, in these kind of ensemble methods, the base learners are generated in parallel. The motivation of such methods is to exploit the independence among base learners.

Ensemble Learning Methods

The following are the most popular ensemble learning methods i.e. the methods for combining the predictions from different models −


The term bagging is also known as bootstrap aggregation. In bagging methods, ensemble model tries to improve prediction accuracy and decrease model variance by combining predictions of individual models trained over randomly generated training samples. The final prediction of ensemble model will be given by calculating the average of all predictions from the individual estimators. One of the best examples of bagging methods are random forests.


In boosting method, the main principle of building ensemble model is to build it incrementally by training each base model estimator sequentially. As the name suggests, it basically combine several week base learners, trained sequentially over multiple iterations of training data, to build powerful ensemble. During the training of week base learners, higher weights are assigned to those learners which were misclassified earlier. The example of boosting method is AdaBoost.


In this ensemble learning model, multiple models of different types are built and some simple statistics, like calculating mean or median etc., are used to combine the predictions. This prediction will serve as the additional input for training to make the final prediction.

Bagging Ensemble Algorithms

The following are three bagging ensemble algorithms −

Boosting Ensemble Algorithms

The followings are the two most common boosting ensemble algorithms −

Voting Ensemble Algorithms

As discussed, voting first creates two or more standalone models from training dataset and then a voting classifier will wrap the model along with taking the average of the predictions of sub-model whenever needed new data.

In the following Python recipe, we are going to build Voting ensemble model for classification by using VotingClassifier class of sklearn on Pima Indians diabetes dataset. We are combining the predictions of logistic regression, Decision Tree classifier and SVM together for a classification problem as follows −

First, import the required packages as follows −

from pandas import read_csv
from sklearn.model_selection import KFold
from sklearn.model_selection import cross_val_score
from sklearn.linear_model import LogisticRegression
from sklearn.tree import DecisionTreeClassifier
from sklearn.svm import SVC
from sklearn.ensemble import VotingClassifier

Now, we need to load the Pima diabetes dataset as did in previous examples −

path = r"C:\pima-indians-diabetes.csv"
headernames = ['preg', 'plas', 'pres', 'skin', 'test', 'mass', 'pedi', 'age', 'class']
data = read_csv(path, names = headernames)
array = data.values
X = array[:,0:8]
Y = array[:,8]

Next, give the input for 10-fold cross validation as follows −

kfold = KFold(n_splits = 10, random_state = 7)

Next, we need to create sub-models as follows −

estimators = []
model1 = LogisticRegression()
estimators.append(('logistic', model1))
model2 = DecisionTreeClassifier()
estimators.append(('cart', model2))
model3 = SVC()
estimators.append(('svm', model3))

Now, create the voting ensemble model by combining the predictions of above created sub models.

ensemble = VotingClassifier(estimators)
results = cross_val_score(ensemble, X, Y, cv = kfold)



The output above shows that we got around 74% accuracy of our voting classifier ensemble model.

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started