Stats Models & SKLearn

Week 3 | Lesson 1.3


After this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Perform a linear regression in scikit-learn
  • Perform a linear regression in statsmodels
  • Do linear regression on Boston housing dataset with statsmodels, just using a few of the columns, then try again with all of them - does the model get better?


Before this lesson, you should already be able to:

  • Use matplotlib for making scatter plots
  • Extract data from pandas DataFrames
  • Fit a linear regression for one variable


Solution Code


Before this lesson, instructors will need to:

  • Read in / Review any dataset(s) & starter/solution code
  • Generate a brief slide deck
  • Prepare any specific materials
  • Provide students with additional resources

This lesson will be heavily code-driven since we're introducing how to use two new modules.


5 min Opening Topic description
10 min Introduction Multilinear Regression
20 min Demo Python Libraries for Regressions
25 min Guided Practice Statsmodels
15 min Independent Practice Practice Regressions
5 min Conclusion Topic description

Opening (5 mins)

  • Review prior labs/homework, upcoming projects, or exit tickets, when applicable
  • Review lesson objectives
  • Discuss real world relevance of these topics
  • Relate topics to the Data Science Workflow - i.e. are these concepts typically used to acquire, parse, clean, mine, refine, model, present, or deploy?

Check: Ask students to define, explain, or recall any relevant pre-work concepts.

Introduction: Multilinear Regression (10 mins)

Instructor Note: Review the concepts behind linear regression from the earlier lesson and touch on multilinear regression as described below.

In the earlier lesson we went through several fits for models that have one independent variable. Usually we have more than one independent variable in our datasets. The way we fit for multiple independent variables is often called multilinear regression and is conceptually the same. Instead of an equation like

y = a + b x

where x is the independent variable, we instead fit a matrix equation

y = X B

where X is a we have a matrix of independent variables and B is a vector of coefficients like b. It's far too tedious to do this by hand so we rely on one of many software packages to find the best fit coefficients.

Using multiple variables allows us to fit higher dimensional shapes:

y = b_0 + b_1 x_1 + b_2 x_2

and also more complex curves, like parabolas:

y = a  + b x + c x^2

What matters is that the relationship between the variables are linear, not the shape itself. So for the parabola we really have that x_1 = x and x_2 = x^2.

For equations and images use the wikipedia page, specifically the section "Introduction to linear regression", which lays things out nicely!

Check: Translate y^2 = a x^3 + b x into a linear regression using three new variables y_1, x_1, and x_2.

Solution: y_1 = a x_1 + b x_2wherey_1 = y^2,x_1 = x^3, andx_2 = x`

Check: Can any curve be made into a linear regression?

No. For example, y = a sin(x) is linear between y and x_1 = sin(x), but we can't rewrite y = sin(a x) as a linear relationship between y and x

Demo: Python Libraries for Regressions (20 mins)

Use the included Starter Code This is a code- heavy lesson since we are introducing two new python packages, so think of it as a combination of lesson and lab.

One issue to look out for -- when students try to fit all the data they may forget to remove the target variable, ending up with a perfect model fit. This could be very confusing, but it's also an opportunity to discuss how linear regression works. In this case the model will fit completely on the target and the other coefficients will be zero.

Guided Practice: Statsmodels (25 mins)

Click through to the following Starter Code

At the end of the Jupyter notebook, students are asked to recreate the models built in scikit-learn with statsmodels. They can work in small groups if desired.

Here is the Solution Code

Independent Practice: Practice Regressions (15 minutes)

Continue with the starter notebook and practice more model fits.

The next lesson (1.4) is largely independent practice. Since this lesson is very content heavy, spend more time on guided practice and the demo as needed.

Students can explore other combinations of variables in the time remaining, looking for a good fit with a small number of variables. Explain that less complex models are better in general if asked why.

Demo / Starter Code

Solution Code

Conclusion (# mins)

  • Review the two modules introduced and explain that we'll use both for many more models as the course progresses

Additional Resources

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