Generalization of Parameter Selection of SVM and LS-SVM for Regression

Type Article
Date 2019-06
Language English
Author(s) Zeng J1, Tan Zh2, Matsunaga T1, Shirai T1
Affiliation(s) 1 : National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan
2 : Department of Environmental Science, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
Source Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction (2504-4990) (MDPI AG), 2019-06 , Vol. 1 , N. 2 , P. 745-755
DOI 10.3390/make1020043
Note This article belongs to the Section Learning
Keyword(s) support vector machine for regression, SVM, LS-SVM, machine learning, parameter optimization, global ocean CO2

A Support Vector Machine (SVM) for regression is a popular machine learning model that aims to solve nonlinear function approximation problems wherein explicit model equations are difficult to formulate. The performance of an SVM depends largely on the selection of its parameters. Choosing between an SVM that solves an optimization problem with inequality constrains and one that solves the least square of errors (LS-SVM) adds to the complexity. Various methods have been proposed for tuning parameters, but no article puts the SVM and LS-SVM side by side to discuss the issue using a large dataset from the real world, which could be problematic for existing parameter tuning methods. We investigated both the SVM and LS-SVM with an artificial dataset and a dataset of more than 200,000 points used for the reconstruction of the global surface ocean CO2 concentration. The results reveal that: (1) the two models are most sensitive to the parameter of the kernel function, which lies in a narrow range for scaled input data; (2) the optimal values of other parameters do not change much for different datasets; and (3) the LS-SVM performs better than the SVM in general. The LS-SVM is recommended, as it has less parameters to be tuned and yields a smaller bias. Nevertheless, the SVM has advantages of consuming less computer resources and taking less time to train. The results suggest initial parameter guesses for using the models.

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