I've been running K-Fold cross validation multiple times for KNN, random forest and XGBoost.

KNN can complete sklearn's cross_val_score, so much faster consistently.

They all use the same preprocessed data, all have the same test/train split with a random state, etc.

When ran individually the timings are within 10% of each other.

When ran using sklearn's cross val score, KNN can do 50 k-folds in less than 10 minutes, when the other two take over an hour each. (this is consistent, i've ran it 5 times for all 3 algorithms)

Mathematically, or maybe due to sklearn's code, is there a reason for this? (The dataset is 200,000 by 100 columns, at a 25% test/train split)


1 Answer 1


It's not that KNN is better at k-fold cross validation. Its just that KNN doesn't do any training apart from storing a footprint of the training data within the model. KNN's logic resides in its inference step i.e. the predict() call where it determines the k nearest neighbors for the newly supplied instance from previously supplied training data and makes a prediction for the label.

So it's likely that KNN is faster than most other models for small to medium sized datasets.

  • $\begingroup$ That makes a lot of sense! Thank you, I didn't think it like that, I wish I could upvote/accept it as an answer but I can't as I'm too low in score. Thank you! If anyone see's this please upvote the answer :) $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2021 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ You could accept this as the correct answer if you are satisfied with the response. $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2021 at 13:51

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