KTBoost: Combined Kernel and Tree Boosting

Fabio Sigrist

In this article, we introduce a novel boosting algorithm called `KTBoost', which combines kernel boosting and tree boosting. In each boosting iteration, the algorithm adds either a regression tree or reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) regression function to the ensemble of base learners. Intuitively, the idea is that discontinuous trees and continuous RKHS regression functions complement each other, and that this combination allows for better learning of functions that have parts with varying degrees of regularity such as discontinuities and smooth parts. We empirically show that KTBoost outperforms both tree and kernel boosting in terms of predictive accuracy on a wide array of data sets.

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