Skip to content

PyGWalker Cloud is now available! Get a 50% off discount for the first month to get started.

Lasso Regression vs Ridge Regression in R - Explained!

In the world of statistics, two powerful techniques have emerged: Lasso and Ridge regression. These techniques are extensively employed for creating predictive models, particularly when dealing with multicollinearity in data. The power of these models, especially Lasso regression in R, is impressive. Let's explore these techniques and highlight their utility in data analysis.

Want to quickly create Data Visualization from Python Pandas Dataframe with No code?

PyGWalker is a Python library for Exploratory Data Analysis with Visualization. PyGWalker (opens in a new tab) can simplify your Jupyter Notebook data analysis and data visualization workflow, by turning your pandas dataframe (and polars dataframe) into a Tableau-style User Interface for visual exploration.

PyGWalker for Data visualization (opens in a new tab)

What is Lasso Regression?

Lasso (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) regression is a popular model in the realm of machine learning and statistics. As a model known for feature selection and regularization, Lasso regression excels in preventing overfitting and managing high-dimensional data.

Here is a simple example of implementing Lasso regression in R:

## Load necessary package
## Prepare data
x <- model.matrix(~., train_data)[,-1]  ## predictors
y <- train_data$Target  ## response variable
## Fit the lasso model
my_lasso <- glmnet(x, y, alpha = 1)
## Check the model

What is Ridge Regression?

On the flip side, we have Ridge regression, another robust technique in statistics. Ridge regression is known for its ability to handle multicollinearity, manage overfitting, and reduce model complexity by shrinking the coefficients towards zero, yet not eliminating them entirely, unlike Lasso regression.

Here's a quick example of ridge regression in R:

## Load necessary package
## Prepare data
x <- model.matrix(~., train_data)[,-1]  ## predictors
y <- train_data$Target  ## response variable
## Fit the ridge model
ridge_model <- glmnet(x, y, alpha = 0)
## Check the model

Lasso Regression Vs Ridge Regression: The Crucial Differences

The crux of the Lasso Vs Ridge regression debate lies in how each method applies penalties. In the ridge regression formula, a penalty equivalent to the square of the magnitude of coefficients is applied, ensuring they're small but not zero. This process is known as "L2 regularization".

Lasso regression, on the other hand, applies an absolute value penalty term, potentially reducing some coefficients to zero, thus eliminating the corresponding feature from the model. This method is known as "L1 regularization".

While Ridge regression shares similarities with Linear regression, the latter doesn't handle multicollinearity well due to the absence of a penalty term. Ridge regression, by introducing a penalty term, imparts bias to the model, thereby trading variance for bias, resulting in a more robust and stable model.

When to Use Ridge Vs Lasso Regression?

The key difference between Ridge and Lasso regression is how they manage irrelevant features. If you suspect your dataset contains redundant features, then Lasso may be your choice as it performs feature selection. On the contrary, if you think all features contribute to the outcome, Ridge regression might be better due to its tendency to keep all features.

However, both these methods don't perform optimally when multicollinearity is severe. They're also not suitable for data where the number of predictors (p) exceeds the number of observations (n).

Lasso and Ridge Regression in R

In R, both Lasso and Ridge regression serve crucial roles in statistics and machine learning. They are valuable tools when dealing with multicollinearity, reducing overfitting, and in the case of Lasso, performing feature selection.

The application of Lasso Regression in statistics extends to more than just model building. It's particularly useful in scenarios where we are dealing with high-dimensional data, providing sparse solutions and hence aiding in interpretability.

Whether it's Ridge or Lasso regression, the choice depends on your specific dataset and the problem you're trying to solve. By learning how to use both tools in R, you can greatly expand your data science toolkit and improve your predictive modeling capabilities. With more practice and experience, you'll know when to use Lasso Regression or Ridge Regression based on the specific task at hand.