I'm trying to decide whether I should scale my features & responses for training, and I'm in a situation where I can't just try both scaling and not scaling.

My features currently have an std around 0.05, and the behavior of the timeseries I'm studying is very much scale dependent (0.5 means a VERY different thing than a 0.05 in terms of what's happening in the market).

Can I expect major improvements in performance, optimizer-wise, if I scaled my features to have std of 1?

My models are different combinations of MLP and 1d conv, and my algorithm is gradient descent with the Adam optimizer.

Thank you! [and yes; I'm another one of those people who are trying to forecast the stock market]

Louis is right that I should try both. But I'm leaving the question up just in case someone comes along and gives a mathematical proof of exactly normalization is useful /useless.

  • $\begingroup$ Out of interest, why can you not just try both? Doing multiple experiments in order to find best approach is a core approach in data science, and you severely hamper your ability to do well on a task if this is not possible for you $\endgroup$ – Neil Slater Feb 9 '19 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ Time, mainly. Yup I'm a lazy bum. $\endgroup$ – Cedar Feb 10 '19 at 17:49

It's impossible to know whether the performance will improve without knowing what algorithm you are using. Even then the only way to tell is to try both.

That being said, I can't think of any scenario that standardisation would hurt the performance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welp I guess you're right. I'll suck it up and do both. $\endgroup$ – Cedar Feb 10 '19 at 17:49

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