Case Study - Predicting Housing Prices
In our first case study, predicting house prices, you will create models that predict a continuous value (price) from input features (square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms,...). This is just one of the many places where regression can be applied. Other applications range from predicting health outcomes in medicine, stock prices in finance, and power usage in high-performance computing, to analyzing which regulators are important for gene expression.
In this course, you will explore regularized linear regression models for the task of prediction and feature selection. You will be able to handle very large sets of features and select between models of various complexity. You will also analyze the impact of aspects of your data -- such as outliers -- on your selected models and predictions. To fit these models, you will implement optimization algorithms that scale to large datasets.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, you will be able to:
-Describe the input and output of a regression model.
-Compare and contrast bias and variance when modeling data.
-Estimate model parameters using optimization algorithms.
-Tune parameters with cross validation.
-Analyze the performance of the model.
-Describe the notion of sparsity and how LASSO leads to sparse solutions.
-Deploy methods to select between models.
-Exploit the model to form predictions.
-Build a regression model to predict prices using a housing dataset.
-Implement these techniques in Python.

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Assessing Performance

Having learned about linear regression models and algorithms for estimating the parameters of such models, you are now ready to assess how well your considered method should perform in predicting new data. You are also ready to select amongst possible models to choose the best performing. <p> This module is all about these important topics of model selection and assessment. You will examine both theoretical and practical aspects of such analyses. You will first explore the concept of measuring the "loss" of your predictions, and use this to define training, test, and generalization error. For these measures of error, you will analyze how they vary with model complexity and how they might be utilized to form a valid assessment of predictive performance. This leads directly to an important conversation about the bias-variance tradeoff, which is fundamental to machine learning. Finally, you will devise a method to first select amongst models and then assess the performance of the selected model. <p>The concepts described in this module are key to all machine learning problems, well-beyond the regression setting addressed in this course.