Tabular data

Tabular data involves two-dimensional tables with objects (rows) and features (columns), which are used in numerous applied tasks such as classification, regression, ranking and many others.

Area 19. Tabular data.svg

Posts

Publications

  • On Embeddings for Numerical Features in Tabular Deep Learning

    Tabular data
    Yury Gorishniy
    Ivan Rubachev
    Artem Babenko
    NeurIPS,
    2022

    Recently, Transformer-like deep architectures have shown strong performance on tabular data problems. Unlike traditional models, e.g., MLP, these architectures map scalar values of numerical features to high-dimensional embeddings before mixing them in the main backbone. In this work, we argue that embeddings for numerical features are an underexplored degree of freedom in tabular DL, which allows constructing more powerful DL models and competing with gradient boosted decision trees (GBDT) on some GBDT-friendly benchmarks (that is, where GBDT outperforms conventional DL models). We start by describing two conceptually different approaches to building embedding modules: the first one is based on a piecewise linear encoding of scalar values, and the second one utilizes periodic activations. Then, we empirically demonstrate that these two approaches can lead to significant performance boosts compared to the embeddings based on conventional blocks such as linear layers and ReLU activations. Importantly, we also show that embedding numerical features is beneficial for many backbones, not only for Transformers. Specifically, after proper embeddings, simple MLP-like models can perform on par with the attention-based architectures. Overall, we highlight embeddings for numerical features as an important design aspect with good potential for further improvements in tabular DL.

  • Shifts: A Dataset of Real Distributional Shift Across Multiple Large-Scale Tasks

    Machine translationNatural language processing Tabular dataDistributional shiftUncertainty estimation
    Andrey Malinin
    Neil Band
    Yarin Gal
    Mark J. F. Gales
    Alexander Ganshin
    German Chesnokov
    Alexey Noskov
    Andrey Ploskonosov
    Liudmila Prokhorenkova
    Ivan Provilkov
    Vatsal Raina
    Vyas Raina
    Denis Roginskiy
    Mariya Shmatova
    Panos Tigas
    Boris Yangel
    NeurIPS Benchmarks,
    2021

    Published at NeurIPS Datasets and Benchmarks Track.

    There has been significant research done on developing methods for improving robustness to distributional shift and uncertainty estimation. In contrast, only limited work has examined developing standard datasets and benchmarks for assessing these approaches. Additionally, most work on uncertainty estimation and robustness has developed new techniques based on small-scale regression or image classification tasks. However, many tasks of practical interest have different modalities, such as tabular data, audio, text, or sensor data, which offer significant challenges involving regression and discrete or continuous structured prediction. Thus, given the current state of the field, a standardized large-scale dataset of tasks across a range of modalities affected by distributional shifts is necessary. This will enable researchers to meaningfully evaluate the plethora of recently developed uncertainty quantification methods, as well as assessment criteria and state-of-the-art baselines. In this work, we propose the \emph{Shifts Dataset} for evaluation of uncertainty estimates and robustness to distributional shift. The dataset, which has been collected from industrial sources and services, is composed of three tasks, with each corresponding to a particular data modality: tabular weather prediction, machine translation, and self-driving car (SDC) vehicle motion prediction. All of these data modalities and tasks are affected by real, ‘in-the-wild’ distributional shifts and pose interesting challenges with respect to uncertainty estimation. In this work we provide a description of the dataset and baseline results for all tasks.

  • Revisiting Deep Learning Models for Tabular Data

    Tabular data
    Yury Gorishniy
    Ivan Rubachev
    Valentin Khrulkov
    Artem Babenko
    NeurIPS,
    2021

    The existing literature on deep learning for tabular data proposes a wide range of novel architectures and reports competitive results on various datasets. However, the proposed models are usually not properly compared to each other and existing works often use different benchmarks and experiment protocols. As a result, it is unclear for both researchers and practitioners what models perform best. Additionally, the field still lacks effective baselines, that is, the easy-to-use models that provide competitive performance across different problems. In this work, we perform an overview of the main families of DL architectures for tabular data and raise the bar of baselines in tabular DL by identifying two simple and powerful deep architectures. The first one is a ResNet-like architecture which turns out to be a strong baseline that is often missing in prior works. The second model is our simple adaptation of the Transformer architecture for tabular data, which outperforms other solutions on most tasks. Both models are compared to many existing architectures on a diverse set of tasks under the same training and tuning protocols. We also compare the best DL models with Gradient Boosted Decision Trees and conclude that there is still no universally superior solution. The source code is available at https://github.com/yandex-research/rtdl.