[R] Random forest regression: feedback on general approach and possible issues

Bert Gunter bgunter.4567 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 4 17:02:31 CET 2015

I would suggest that you post instead on stats.stackexchange.com  .
This forum is mostly about R programming issues, not statistics
(admittedly, the intersection is nonempty, but ...) That stackexchange
forum is more about statistics.

You might also consider a bioconductor forum, as this appears to be a
bioinformatics type of issue.



P.S. Both of these could be found with suitable internet searches.
Don't neglect search engines for these types of queries. I have found
them to be very helpful.
Bert Gunter

"Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. And knowledge
is certainly not wisdom."
   -- Clifford Stoll

On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 1:15 AM, Johannes Klene <jklene000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'd like to use random forest regression to say something about the
> importance of a set of genes (binary) for schizophrenia-related behavior
> (continuous measure). I am still reading up on this technique, but would
> already really appreciate any feedback on whether my approach is valid.
> So...using the randomForest package, is it a good approach to enter a few
> dozen binary predictors to assess their importance (as a set, and
> individually) for a continuous measure with a sample size of ~1000 people?
> More specific questions:
> - I have an additional interest in interactions (though perhaps not the
> best word in this context), does it make any sense to say something about
> the influence one predictor has over others by looking at the change in
> estimated importance of the others when that predictor is removed from the
> model?
> - I have a few siblings in the data, i.e. non-independence, is this a
> problem and if so, is there anything I can do about it?
> - The few papers I have seen so far on using this technique in a similar
> situation do not include any 'standard' covariates such as age and gender,
> should I?
> Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!! Kind regards, Johannes
> p.s. Hope I've come to the right place despite this being a more general
> question, if not please let me know of a forum where this is more suited
> for.
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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