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ML | Why Logistic Regression in Classification ?

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 06 May, 2019
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Using Linear Regression, all predictions >= 0.5 can be considered as 1 and rest all < 0.5 can be considered as 0. But then the question arises why classification can’t be performed using it?

Problem –

Suppose we are classifying a mail as spam or not spam and our output is y, it can be 0(spam) or 1(not spam). In case of Linear Regression, hθ(x) can be > 1 or < 0. Although our prediction should be in between 0 and 1, the model will predict value out of the range i.e. maybe > 1 or < 0.

So, that’s why for a Classification task, Logistic/Sigmoid Regression plays its role.

 h_{\Theta} (x) = g (\Theta ^{T}x)  z =  \Theta ^{T}x  g(z) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-z}}

Here, we plug θTx into logistic function where θ are the weights/parameters and x is the input and hθ(x) is the hypothesis function. g() is the sigmoid function.

  h_{\Theta} (x) = P( y =1 | x ; \Theta )

It means that y = 1 probability when x is parameterized to θ

To get the discrete values 0 or 1 for classification, discrete boundaries are defined. The hypothesis function cab be translated as

  h_{\Theta} (x) \geq 0.5 \rightarrow y = 1  h_{\Theta} (x) < 0.5 \rightarrow y = 0
  {g(z) \geq 0.5} \\  {\Rightarrow \Theta ^{T}x \geq 0.5} \\  {\Rightarrow z \geq 0.5 }

Decision Boundary is the line that distinguishes the area where y=0 and where y=1. These decision boundaries result from the hypothesis function under consideration.

Understanding Decision Boundary with an example –
Let our hypothesis function be

  h_{\Theta}(x)= g[\Theta_{0}+ \Theta_1x_1+\Theta_2x_2+ \Theta_3x_1^2 + \Theta_4x_2^2 ]

Then the decision boundary looks like

Let out weights or parameters be –

  \Theta=\begin{bmatrix} -1\\  0\\  0\\  1\\ 1 \end{bmatrix}

So, it predicts y = 1 if

  -1 + x_{1}^2 + x_{2}^2 \geqslant 0
  \Rightarrow x_{1}^2 + x_{2}^2 \geqslant 1

And that is the equation of a circle with radius = 1 and origin as the center. This is the Decision Boundary for our defined hypothesis.

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