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Classification refers to a broad set of statistical methods that arise in many different applications. In a classification problem, we have a categorical response variable that we wish to investigate in relationship to one or more input variables. Classification methods can be applied to problems in a wide variety of settings; applications in education include analyzing patterns of responses to standardized exams, inferring which middle school students will benefit from a drug prevention program, and predicting which graduating high school seniors will choose to attend a particular university if they are offered admission.

Common classification methods include logistic regression, support vector machines, decision trees, random forests, neural networks, and k-nearest neighbors. This entry discusses a few general issues in classification that should be considered when choosing ...

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