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I would like to train a model that estimate the time a given shop would take to repair for a bike using the data below:

shops.csv

| variable | description              |
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
| shop_id  | unique shop identifier   |
| country  | country of the shop      |
| city     | city of the shop         |
| nb_empl  | number of employees      |
| review   | google review            |

repairs.csv

| variable  | description                             |
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
| repair_id | unique repair identifier                |
| price     | value of the repair in local currency   |
| type      | what to repair (brakes, wheel...)       |
| bike_model| model of the bike to repair             |
| size      | size of the bike to repair              |
| shop_id   | shop that carries out the repair        |
| duration  | time it took to repair the bike (TARGET)|

My first thought was to combine the datasets and treat the problem as a supervised learning problem. Meaning that I would use regression, XGBoost, random forest to fit my model in order to get the estimated time of repair, all the shops in the training set being mixed. But my concern is that my shops might be similar, it doesn't mean that they would spend the same amount of time to repair a bike. My second thought was to treat each shop independently, so basically one model per shop.

My questions are:

  • How would you approach the problem yourself?
  • Is there a way to combine my two thoughts together to get a better model?
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But my concern is that my shops might be similar, it doesn't mean that they would spend the same amount of time to repair a bike. My second thought was to treat each shop independently, so basically one model per shop.

You need to decide which problem you're trying to solve, e.g.:

  • average duration of repair for a particular type of bike and repair id
  • average duration of repair for a particular shop (can be used to rank shops by their performance)
  • average duration of repair for a particular type of bike in a particular shop (can be used to predict the best shop for a particular bike)
  • ...

After having clearly defined the problem, you need to format the data so that every instance corresponds to the item for which you want to predict something. For instance if the goal is to predict duration by type of bike, then an instance represents a type of bike so the feature should contain information about the bike and the target variable could be the average duration for this bike. In this case you shouldn't have several instances for the same type of bike.

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