Ordinal Mixed-Effects Random Forest


Statistical learning
Ordinal Mixed-Effects Random Forest
Wednesday 5th June 2024
Bergonzoli, G.; Rossi, L.; Masci, C.
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We propose an innovative statistical method, called Ordinal Mixed-Effect Random Forest (OMERF), that extends the use of random forest to the analysis of hierarchical data and ordinal responses. The model preserves the flexibility and ability of modeling complex patterns of both categorical and continuous variables, typical of tree-based ensemble methods, and, at the same time, takes into account the structure of hierarchical data, modeling the dependence structure induced by the grouping and allowing statistical inference at all data levels. A simulation study is conducted to validate the performance of the proposed method and to compare it to the one of other state-of-the art models. The application of OMERF is exemplified in a case study focusing on predicting students performances using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022. The model identifies discriminating student characteristics and estimates the school-effect.