Boosting Model Accuracy: Techniques I Learned During My Machine Learning Thesis at Spotify (+Code Snippets) | by Khouloud El Alami | Aug, 2023

A tech data scientist’s stack to improve stubborn ML models

Khouloud El Alami
Towards Data Science

This article is one of a two-part piece documenting my learnings from my Machine Learning Thesis at Spotify. Be sure to also check out the second article on how I implemented Feature Importance in this research.

In 2021, I spent 8 months building a predictive model to measure user satisfaction as part of my Thesis at Spotify.

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My goal was to understand what made users satisfied with their music experience. To do so, I built a LightGBM classifier whose output was a binary response:
y = 1 → the user is seemingly satisfied
y = 0 → not so much

Predicting human satisfaction is a challenge because humans are by definition unsatisfied. Even a machine isn’t so fit to decipher the mysteries of the human psyche. So naturally my model was as confused as one can be.

From Human Predictor to Fortune Teller

My accuracy score was around 0.5, which is the worst possible outcome you can get on a classifier. It means the algorithm has a 50% chance of predicting yes or no, and that’s as random as a human guess.

So I spent 2 months trying and combining different techniques to improve the prediction of my model. In the end, I was finally able to improve my ROC score from 0.5 to 0.73, which was a big success!

In this post, I will share with you the techniques I used to significantly enhance the accuracy of my model. This article might come in handy whenever you’re dealing with models that just won’t cooperate.

Due to the confidentiality of this research, I cannot share sensitive information, but I’ll do my very best for it not to sound confusing.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.