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I've created a couple of models during some assignments and hackathons using algorithms such as Random Forest and XGBoost and used GridSearchCV to find the best combination of parameters. But what I'm not able to understand is how to select those parameters for GridSearchCV. I randomly put the parameters such as

params = {"max_depth" : [5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50,100],
         "min_samples_leaf" : [5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000,10000],
         "criterion": ["gini","entropy"],
         "n_estimators" : [10, 15, 20, 40, 50, 75, 100,1000],
         "max_features" : ["auto", "sqrt","log2"]}

But how do I decide if I could select better parameters which might be computationally better as well? I can't use the same above parameters for a Random Forest Classifier every single time surely?

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  • $\begingroup$ When using GridSearch I always try that my param range includes the default ones. For example for RandomForestClassifier the default value for n_estimators = 100 so I always go for a range that includes 100 say [75,100,150]. You could also run a validation curve on the most relevant numeric parameter to check whether increasing or decreasing helps your model scikit-learn.org/stable/modules/learning_curve.html $\endgroup$ – Julio Jesus Mar 1 at 19:32
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That is indeed a drawback with grid search strategy, since you must know in advance each one of the possible combinations to try out, and that might be not optimal neither to get the best evaluation metric value nor in computation performance.

You have other interesting strategies, not exhaustive hyperparameter search, for instance random search or based on bayesian tuning, for a more efficient search and being a "more clever" search strategy in the second option.
You can have a look at HyperOpt library with several optimization algorightms (see also this link for a practical use case), and more recently Keras released a nice keras tuner (which I love by the way).

You can also have a look at this answer for a worked out example on a XGB model using Hyperopt, and this one for using keras tuner. You can also check the keras tuner wrapper for sklearn models: https://keras-team.github.io/keras-tuner/documentation/tuners/#sklearn-class

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  • $\begingroup$ Is Keras tuner intended for both Scikit-learn and Keras models? (I loved it too!) $\endgroup$ – Julio Jesus Mar 1 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yes they provide a wrapper for sklearn :) "Tuners - Keras Tuner" keras-team.github.io/keras-tuner/documentation/tuners/… $\endgroup$ – German C M Mar 1 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, this is perfect. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Kush Mar 4 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ Your welcome! You can validate the answer so other users can rely on it $\endgroup$ – German C M Mar 4 at 7:40

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