- Added
`train_familiar`

function that trains (and returns) models, but skips evaluation steps. This function is essentially a wrapper around`summon_familiar`

. - Multivariate feature selection / variable importance methods such as
`multivariate_regression`

,`mrmr`

and`lasso`

now respect signature features set using the`signature`

configuration parameter. Features provided in`signature`

are always selected for the resulting model, and were therefore ignored during feature selection for both univariate and multivariate method. This has changed, so that multivariate methods now use the signature features as the basic set and attempt to identify any additional suitable features. Signature features are still ignored for univariate methods. - Many learners now allow for sample weighting to correct for class imbalances. By default this is done by weighting using inverse sample weights. This can be changed to an effective number method by setting model hyperparameters.
- Hyperparameter optimisation is now less greedy during intensification steps when using
`successive_halving`

or`stochastic_reject`

as exploration methods. Fewer bootstraps are assessed during intensification steps if there are any bootstraps that have only partially been sampled by the hyperparameter sets under evaluation. This should accelerate the optimisation process considerably. The (so far untested) rationale is that the hyperparameter learners should generally be able to accurately model the optimisation score of hyperparameter sets using locally sparse data.- By default, a maximum of 20 bootstraps are now used to evaluate hyperparameter sets. This is down from the default of 50 used previously. This saves time spent on computing variable importance.
- It is now moreover possible to limit the time (in minutes) spent on optimisation using the
`smbo_time_limit`

parameter. Optimisation will stop once this limit has been exceeded. Note that familiar does not actively kill ongoing optimisation processes, but waits until they complete before stopping optimisation. Actively killing processes would require a general overhaul of the parallelisation routines used in familiar, which is complex and not an urgent priority.

- Models now show warnings and errors encountered while (attempting to) train the model. This allows for identifying potential issues with the underlying data, and model-specific issues.
- In case hyperparameters cannot be obtained for a model due to errors encountered while training the models, these errors are now reported.

- R version 4.0.0 or newer is now required, instead of 3.4.0.

- Added
`summary`

,`vcov`

and`coef`

method for`familiarModel`

objects. These respectively apply`summary`

,`vcov`

and`coef`

to the stored model. - Added relative absolute error, relative squared error and root relative squared error as performance metrics.
- Models to predict the goodness (
*optimisation score*) of hyperparameter sets are now object-oriented. This change is not visible to the user. - Additional options are now available to as
`optimisation_function`

to determine optimisation and overall summary scores of hyperparameter sets. Newly introduced are:`validation_minus_sd`

: The mean performance on out-of-bag data minus its standard deviation.`validation_25th_percentile`

: The 25th percentile of model performance on out-of-bag data.`model_estimate`

: The estimated model performance inferred by the hyperparameter model that was previously used to identify new candidate hyperparameter sets. Not available for random search.`model_estimate_minus_sd`

: The estimated model performance minus its standard deviation. Not available for random search.

- The default
`optimisation_function`

is now`validation`

. - The default
`smbo_stop_tolerance`

now depends on the number of samples and varies between`0.01`

for 100 or fewer samples, and`0.001`

for 10000 or more samples. - Additional data are now exported after optimising hyperparameters, namely the iteration step during which performance data were obtained, the time taken by the optimisation process, the learner used to learn how well hyperparameter sets perform, and the optimisation function. This is in addition to the score table and parameter tables that were already exported previously.
- The
`stringi`

package has been phased out, and is no longer suggested or imported.

Fixed some missing verbosity settings.

Fixed a deprecation warning in the

`xgboost`

package for DART boosters, that appeared for versions 1.4.0 and newer.Trained models now contain information for features used only for missing data inference.

Capture a rare error produced by the

*maxstat*package when determining optimal risk stratification thresholds.Fixed unexpected behaviour in interactions between

*project_dir*and*experiment_dir*configuration parameters.

Fixed a bug that prevented computation of model variable importance when data was not loaded. This affected learners based on

*glmnet*,*randomForestSRC*and*ranger*packages.Fixed a bug that prevented familiar from identifying iteration files that were created previously for the same experiment.

Fixed a bug that would only occur during unit testing that was due to feature importance files being considered present without these files actually existing.

All models are now trimmed to remove unnecessary objects such as nested environments, copies of training data, etc. This should cause an overall smaller memory footprint. Note that this does not necessarily imply anonymisation of the data. Notably, k-nearest neighbour learners still maintain a copy of the training dataset internally.

Naive Bayes and k-nearest neighbour learners now use the

`e1071`

package instead of`klaR`

, which has been deprecated from familiar. Some hyperparameters changed accordingly. See the*learners*vignette.Added individual conditional expectation and partial dependence plots. These plots show the response of a model across a range of values for a particular feature.

Hyperparameter optimisation now allows for more flexibility in setting the exploration method. The exploration method determines how less promising hyperparameter sets are pruned during intensification steps. The exploration method can be set using the

`exploration_method`

argument. Familiar currently supports the following options:`successive_halving`

(default): The set of alternative parameter sets is pruned by removing the worst performing half of the sets after each step. The set of investigated parameter sets gets progressively smaller.`stochastic_reject`

: The set of alternative parameter sets is pruned by comparing the performance of each parameter set with that of the incumbent*best*parameter set using a paired Wilcoxon test. This was the previous default.`none`

: The set of alternative parameter sets is not pruned.

We can now also change the hyperparameter learner used to infer suitability of candidate hyperparameter sets for further exploration. The learner can be set using the

`hyperparameter_learner`

argument, and supports the following options:`gaussian_process`

(default): Creates a localised approximate Gaussian deterministic Gaussian Processes.`bayesian_additive_regression_trees`

or`bart`

: Uses Bayesian Additive Regression Trees for inference. Unlike standard random forests, BART allows for estimating posterior distributions directly and can extrapolate.`random_forest`

: Creates a random forest for inference. A weakness of random forests is their lack of extrapolation beyond observed values, which limits their usefulness in exploiting promising areas of hyperparameter space. This was the previously supported option.`random`

or`random_search`

: Forgoes the use of models to steer optimisation. Instead, a random search is performed. This means the hyperparameter space is sampled at random.

Three new vignettes have been added. The first vignette is an introductory vignette on how to get started with familiar. The second vignette describes how familiar can be used prospectively. The third vignette describes evaluation and explanation steps in familiar and how they are implemented. All other vignettes have been reviewed and updated.

A

`predict`

method was added to allow for direct inference of estimated values for one or more instances. Functionality is the same as other`predict`

methods, but data (`newdata`

) should always be provided. Familiar does not store development data with the model.The RServe backend was retired, as recent versions of the RServe and RSclient packages produced errors that could not be resolved.

A

`sample_limit`

parameter was added to limit the number of samples used during evaluation. This parameter can be specified for the`sample_similarity`

evaluation step.Class levels for categorical outcomes, if not explicitly specified using the

`class_levels`

parameter, are now sorted before being set based on the data. Previously class levels would be set based on order of appearance.Added

`mean`

,`mean_trim`

and`mean_winsor`

as methods to set risk-group stratification thresholds.Novelty detector algorithms are now implemented as S4 classes. This was primarily done to make it easier to add additional methods.

`novelty_detector`

and`detector_parameters`

configuration parameters were added.Isolation forests are now grown with a decreased memory footprint.

Presence of instances with a survival time of 0 or lower will produce a warning. Though familiar itself will handle such instances just fine, other packages will produce errors. Since familiar captures such errors and handles them internally, a warning is provided to indicate potential issues.

The hyperparameter optimisation algorithm performs an improved search of the local neighbourhood of good hyperparameter sets. Previously large parts of local neighbourhoods were ignored as their utility may not have exceeded that of the seed set. The algorithm is now no longer myopic. Instead, the seed set is used as starting point for exploration, and a random path through hyperparameter space is charted. The most promising hyperparameter sets are chosen after repeating this procedure several times and for several seed points.

The

`smbo_intensify_stop_p_value`

parameter was renamed to`smbo_stochastic_reject_p_value`

.The

`eval_times`

argument used in plot and export methods was renamed to`evaluation_times`

to match that of the synonymous configuration parameter.Receiver operating characteristic and precision-recall curves are now plotted exactly in circumstances that allow for it. Previously an interpolated version of the curves was always shown.

The default divergent palettes used for feature cluster and sample cluster heatmaps now diverge to white instead of black.

Familiar will now actively check whether packages are installed.

The default number of cores used for parallel processing is now 2 by default, instead of all cores - 1. This can be changed by setting the

`parallel_nr_cores`

parameter.

`detail_level`

,`sample_limit`

,`estimation_type`

and`aggregate_results`

arguments used during evaluation and explanation are now propagated from`familiarModel`

and`familiarEnsemble`

objects instead of reverting to default values.Fixed a bug that caused features not incorporated in models to not be exported for the purpose of reporting (aggregate) variable importance.

Fixed a bug that caused clustered features not to be exported for the purpose of reporting (aggregate) variable importance.

Fixed a bug that caused model-based variable importance to be exported when calling the

`export_fs_vimp`

method with any`object`

that is not a`familiarCollection`

object.Fixed a bug that prevented rank aggregation method and thresholds from being set while exporting variable importance using

`export_fs_vimp`

or`export_model_vimp`

.Fixed an error that occurred when attempting to fit calibration data with

`NA`

values.Fixed an error that occurred when attempting to interpolate survival probabilities when collecting pooled data.

Fixed an issue with models from the

`glmnet`

package not training for rare classes / events or censoring in small datasets.Fixed an issue that could cause main panels in composite plots that consist of one row of facets and have a legend guide to be have the same height as the guide.

Fixed two issues that could cause errors when plotting a single survival curve.

Points on receiver operating characteristic and precision-recall curves are now always correctly ordered.

Fixed a bug that would prevent

`hpo_metric`

,`vimp_aggregation_method`

and`vimp_aggregation_rank_threshold`

arguments from being set as a function argument.Fixed an error when trying to pass undeclared arguments to the

`..train`

method of`familiarModel`

objects using`callNextMethod()`

.

Added novelty detection. An isolation forest is created at the same time as the main model using the same data. It can then be used to (prospectively) identify samples that are dissimilar to the training samples, and for which the model may need to extrapolate.

- Added a
`novelty_features`

parameter that can be used to specify features that should be used for novelty detection, in addition to those already used in the model.

- Added a
Added

`update_object`

methods that allow for backward compatibility when updating slots of respective objects.Added support for series-like data. These can be time series, or multiple measurements were the outcome of interest may change. Subsampling, e.g. through cross-validation or bootstraps still respects samples. This means that different series instances of the same sample are always kept together for subsampling. The series column in the data set can be set using the

`series_id_column`

parameter. This required changes to what iteration data is stored. This should not cause any issues with post-hoc analyses, but is not**not backward compatible**when updating familiar prior to completing the modelling and evaluation process.Improved flexibility of the evaluation process that is conducted to explain and assess models:

Added

`dynamic_model_loading`

parameter that supports dynamic loading of models to an ensemble. This reduces the memory footprint at the cost of IO overhead as the models are read from the disk or network when required. By default, all models are statically attached to an ensemble.Added

`skip_evaluation_elements`

parameter that allows skipping one or more steps of the evaluation process. This is useful if some evaluations are not relevant.Updated

`parallel_hyperparameter_optimisation`

and`parallel_evaluation`

to allow for specifying whether parallelisation should take place inside (`inner`

) or outside (`outer`

) the respective processes. For`outer`

the parallelisation takes place over different subsamples, learners, etc. This may provide an increase in processing speed, at the cost of less feedback and a higher memory footprint.All evaluation steps now produce

`familiarDataElement`

elements. This is not**not backward compatible**.`familiarData`

and`familiarCollection`

objects created using previous versions need to be created anew. enables flexibility in terms of how data and models are handled for computation. Specifically, many evaluation steps that focus on models can be evaluated at the ensemble (`ensemble`

), model (`model`

) or an intermediate level (`hybrid`

) by setting the`detail_level`

parameter. The`hybrid`

level differs from`ensemble`

in that the individual model predictions are used instead of the prediction of the ensemble itself. Likewise, the type of estimation can now be flexibly chosen for several evaluation steps by setting the`estimation_type`

parameter.Several parameters are now deprecated:

`compute_model_data`

has been completely deprecated. This can now be specified using the new`detail_level`

parameter.`compute_model_ci`

has been completely deprecated. This can now be specified using the new`estimation_type`

parameter.`compute_ensemble_ci`

has been completely deprecated. This can now be specified using the new`estimation_type`

parameter.`aggregate_ci`

has been replaced by`aggregate_results`

. Aside from bootstrap confidence intervals, underlying results for bias-corrected estimates can now be aggregated.

Calibration plots have been completely revamped to now include confidence intervals. Moreover, calibration plots based on

`bootstrap_confidence_interval`

and`bias_corrected`

estimation types no longer show points, but are based on interpolation to a regular grid after computing a loess model.`point`

estimates are unaltered. Density plots have also been revised to use a fixed standard deviation of 0.075, which prevents some of the erratic behaviour seen previously when most expected probability values were clustered closely.Clustering based on feature similarity during the evaluation process can now be specified after similarity has been computed, i.e. through

`export_feature_similarity`

and`plot_feature_similarity`

. This allows for changing clustering parameters after the analysis.Parallel processing now supports mini-batching. Many processes are actually fast to compute and repeated IO to cluster nodes noticably slows down the process. Mini-batches transfers data to nodes in one go for local sequential processing. In addition, processes that can mini-batch are now measured, and an optimal number of nodes is selected based on IO and process times. This should significantly speed up processes with low process time compared to IO time.

Hyperparameter optimisation now predicts the time taken for training using a specific set of hyperparameters. It uses the predicted time to optimise assignment to nodes for parallel processing. This eliminates an issue where hyperparameter optimisation with parallel nodes could take significantly longer than simple sequential optimisation. In addition, hyperparameter optimisation now has several new or changed configuration parameters:

`smbo_random_initialisation`

is no longer a logical (`TRUE`

or`FALSE`

) but takes`fixed_subsample`

,`fixed`

or`random`

as values.`fixed_subsample`

generates initial hyperparameters from the same default hyperparameter grid as`fixed`

, but unlike`fixed`

does not exhaustively search all options.`random`

creates random sets of initial hyperparameters.`smbo_n_random_sets`

can now be used to set the number of hyperparameters sets created for the`fixed_subsample`

and`random`

methods.

`kernlab`

is no longer used as backend for computing support vector machine learners due to lack of stability. Unit testing showed consistent freezing. We now use the SVM of`e1071`

which we found to be stable. SVM models created using previous versions of familiar are no longer compatible.

The default method for bootstrap confidence intervals (

`bootstrap_ci_method`

) is now the percentile (`percentile`

) method, which replaces the bias-corrected (`bc`

) method.The value returned for the bias-corrected bootstrap confidence interval method is now the bias-corrected median, not the point estimate. This harmonises the behaviour of the percentile and bias-corrected confidence interval methods. The bias-corrected median can be viewed as an optimism correction of the point estimate.

Several attribute slots for S4

`familiarModel`

,`familiarEnsemble`

,`familiarData`

and`familiarCollection`

objects were removed, revised or added. Changes are backward compatible due to the new`update_object`

method.Lambda parameters of Box-Cox and Yeo-Johnson transformations are now determined using

`stats::optimise`

. The previous, fixed, settings were sensible for Box-Cox, but the Yeo-Johnson method benefits from a wider selection. This does not affect backward compatibility.The

`as_data_object`

method can now be used with`familiarModel`

and`familiarEnsemble`

objects to check whether the input data can be correctly formatted, and will provide meaningful errors if not.Added

`show`

methods for objects that are typically written to drive, such as`familiarModel`

,`familiarEnsemble`

,`familiarData`

and`familiarCollection`

objects.Added

`plot_auc_precision_recall_curve`

method to plot precision-recall curves.Random forests created using the

`rfsrc`

package are now anonymous forests, i.e. training data are not stored with the model. In addition, we explicitly generate and store a random seed, so that the forest can be regrown for determining variable importance.

Fixed an error that would cause hyperparameter optimisation to not select the optimal set of hyperparameters.

Fixed an error that would cause feature selection to fail when all features in the data are also set to be in the signature.

Fixed an error that occurred when attempting to create risk groups from models that were not successfully trained.

Fixed an error in ComBat batch normalisation caused by invariant or NA features in one or more batches.

Fixed a bug that would incorrectly assign samples to wrong subsamples (e.g. in-bag or out-of-bag data). This only occurred if the same sample identifier exists in different batches.

Fixed an error that occurred prior to hyperparameter optimisation because a model-dependent hyperparameter required to create a metric object may not have been set.

Fixed an error when attempting to perform parallel processing with familiar installed on a non-standard library path.

Fixed an issue where the

`verbose`

argument was not respected when forming clusters of features.Fixed an issue where absence of censoring for time-to-event data would lead to models not being created.

Fixed an issue where NA would not be removed from the results in the

`extract_from_slot`

function.Fixed an issue where information would be missing in

`familiarEnsemble`

objects because the first`familiarModel`

in the ensemble was not trained. This information cannot be added retroactively.Fixed an issue that would cause

`export_permutation_vimp`

to export the wrong data when called by the user.Fixed an issue that would cause an error when a decision curve was plotted with a confidence interval but without requiring multiple line colours.

Fixed an issue that would cause an error when a receiver operating characteristic curve was plotted with a confidence interval but without requiring multiple line colours.

Fixed an error that occurred when categorical outcome levels are numeric, e.g. 0 and 1. For some learners, such as

`svm`

, this caused an indexing error as the outcome levels were interpreted as indices instead of column names.Fixed an error during batch normalisation when there is a mismatch between features with feature information and actual features present in the dataset.

Fixed an issue that would cause an error when computing a pseudo-R2 similarity score between two arrays that each have one unique value.

All metrics are now implemented as S4 objects, with associated methods. Moreover all metrics now have unit tests.

All plotting algorithms now have unit tests which should increase stability of the code. Resulting code fixes are

**not backward compatible**: you may need to recreate the`familiarData`

objects for binomial endpoints.Hyperparameter optimisation now has additional parameters:

`optimisation_determine_vimp`

: Allows for determining variable importance for each of the bootstraps used during hyperparameter optimisation to avoid positive biases.`optimisation_function`

: replaces the objective parameter.`smbo_stop_tolerance`

: tolerance for a optimisation score to be convergent.`acquisition_function`

: an acquisition function can now be selected.

Hyperparameter optimisation can now be performed using multiple optimisation metrics instead of one.

Data computation for individual models can now be explicitly set using the

`compute_model_data`

parameter.Many bugs were fixed.