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BACKGROUND Random forests are becoming increasingly popular in many scientific fields because they can cope with "small n large p" problems, complex interactions and even highly correlated predictor variables. Their variable importance measures have recently been suggested as screening tools for, e.g., gene expression studies. However, these variable(More)
BACKGROUND Variable importance measures for random forests have been receiving increased attention as a means of variable selection in many classification tasks in bioinformatics and related scientific fields, for instance to select a subset of genetic markers relevant for the prediction of a certain disease. We show that random forest variable importance(More)
Recursive partitioning methods have become popular and widely used tools for nonparametric regression and classification in many scientific fields. Especially random forests, which can deal with large numbers of predictor variables even in the presence of complex interactions, have been applied successfully in genetics, clinical medicine, and bioinformatics(More)
Random forests are one of the most popular statistical learning algorithms, and a variety of methods for fitting random forests and related recursive partitioning approaches is available in R. This paper points out two important features of the random forest implementation cforest available in the party package: The resulting forests are unbiased and thus(More)
For the last eight years, microarray-based class prediction has been the subject of numerous publications in medicine, bioinformatics and statistics journals. However, in many articles, the assessment of classification accuracy is carried out using suboptimal procedures and is not paid much attention. In this paper, we carefully review various statistical(More)
BACKGROUND In biometric practice, researchers often apply a large number of different methods in a "trial-and-error" strategy to get as much as possible out of their data and, due to publication pressure or pressure from the consulting customer, present only the most favorable results. This strategy may induce a substantial optimistic bias in prediction(More)
The use of random forests is increasingly common in genetic association studies. The variable importance measure (VIM) that is automatically calculated as a by-product of the algorithm is often used to rank polymorphisms with respect to their ability to predict the investigated phenotype. Here, we investigate a characteristic of this methodology that may be(More)
Random forests have become a widely-used predictive model in many scientific disciplines within the past few years. Additionally, they are increasingly popular for assessing variable importance, e.g., in genetics and bioinformatics. We highlight both advantages and limitations of different variable importance scores and associated testing procedures,(More)