What Innovative Methods Reduce Dataset Dimensionality?


    What Innovative Methods Reduce Dataset Dimensionality?

    In the quest to streamline complex datasets, we've gathered five innovative methods from top professionals in the field, including ML Engineers and Data Scientists. From utilizing UMAP for structure preservation to implementing autoencoders for salient insights, discover their transformative techniques and key takeaways.

    • Utilize UMAP for Structure Preservation
    • Start with Simple Correlation Analysis
    • Maintain Priority With Multidimensional Scaling
    • Apply PCA for Compression
    • Implement Autoencoders for Salient Insights

    Utilize UMAP for Structure Preservation

    High-dimensional data is defined as datasets having an extensive number of features or variables, implying that there are many separate fragments of information to evaluate. These datasets might be challenging to understand due to the large number of data points, or individual pieces of information.

    One of the innovative methods I have used for reducing the dimensionality of a dataset is UMAP. It easily handles huge datasets and high-dimensional data. UMAP combines the power of visualization with the capability to minimize the dimensionality of the data. It preserves both the local and global structures of the data. UMAP links nearby points on the manifold to nearby points in the low-dimensional representation, as well as far-away points.

    Hitesha MukherjeeML Engineer, Quest Global

    Start with Simple Correlation Analysis

    Before attempting more sophisticated dimensionality reduction techniques like PCA, I like to start off with a simple correlation analysis. A correlation analysis allows you to detect variables that have a strong linear relationship with each other. Also known as 'multicollinearity,' this phenomenon yields less reliable results and must therefore be accounted for. A simple correlation plot will show all variables that meet this criterion, based on which you can remove the extraneous variables, leaving you with only the variables that are most impactful. This approach can improve the interpretability of the results since the variables of the dataset maintain their meaning, whereas with more advanced techniques, the variables can get merged together into a single feature that no longer has any explainability. As a result, using this technique allows me to more easily explain a model to stakeholders in a way that they understand and that creates trust in the performance of the algorithm.

    Bogdan Tesileanu
    Bogdan TesileanuData Scientist, FlagshipRTL

    Maintain Priority With Multidimensional Scaling

    In recruiting, I'm often looking at data with dozens, even hundreds, of features. That's natural: The human condition is so varied, and every client and candidate tends toward their own unique description. For example, consider all the synonyms for 'hardworking.'

    That's why I apply multidimensional scaling.

    Reducing my data to a lower dimension is key to simplifying the task, and since there are so many related sets of features, a non-linear reduction makes perfect sense.

    Because the data doesn't lose its essence after scaling down, I'm able to maintain trait priority. And since MDS works best with correlated matrices, I know I'm keeping the inherent value of my clients' desires intact.

    Rob Reeves
    Rob ReevesCEO and President, Redfish Technology

    Apply PCA for Compression

    Delving into the complexities of data to unearth actionable insights is a challenge we embrace. Here, I'll share some innovative methods we've explored for reducing dataset dimensionality and the valuable lessons learned from these endeavors.

    Applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for Survey Data Compression: In an effort to analyze extensive survey data collected for internal feedback, we applied PCA to compress the dataset into principal components that retained most of the variance in the data. This reduction allowed us to focus on the most impactful survey questions and understand the underlying factors driving employee satisfaction.

    Takeaways: The significant lesson here was that dimensionality reduction could also apply to qualitative data, providing clear, actionable insights into areas such as employee engagement and product feedback. PCA helped us to distill large sets of variables into manageable, interpretable components that guided strategic decisions.

    Alari Aho
    Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

    Implement Autoencoders for Salient Insights

    In tackling high-dimensional data, we brought in an inventive approach called autoencoders. It's a neural network model used to learn compressed representations of our data, essentially teaching the machine to focus on salient features. The results were striking. Not only did we drastically reduce data redundancy, but this process also improved the overall efficiency of our subsequent models. The lesson learned? Sometimes, we need to think like a detective—seeking the vital clues amid the sea of information. It's truly about finding the needle in the haystack!

    Abid Salahi
    Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth