I choose which transformation to use for my data (data contains both positive and negative values). Wikipedia says the following:

The Yeo – Johnson transformation allows also for zero and negative values of y (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_transform).

However, the two-parameter Box-Cox transformation also allows you to work with negative values: enter image description here

When should I use the two-parameter box-cox transformation and when should I use the Yeo – Johnson transformation?


1 Answer 1


Box-Cox transformation cannot work with negative values. You can try feeding negative values to the box-cox transformation and it will give you an error.

  • $\begingroup$ But the two-parameter box-cox equation works for $y >= -\lambda_2$. Why then is there a two-parameter equation if one-parameter equation works with positive values? $\endgroup$
    – SoH
    Dec 27, 2021 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Why is this $\lambda_2$ shift necessary? $\endgroup$
    – SoH
    Dec 27, 2021 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ There are 2 formulas of Box Cox, one for positive values and another for negative values. Currently sklearn only supports formula for positive values AFAIK. Check the official doc here: scikit-learn.org/stable/modules/… $\endgroup$
    – spectre
    Dec 27, 2021 at 15:02

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