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Gabr, M.I.; Helmy, Y.M.; Elzanfaly, D.S. Data Completeness and Imputation Methods on Supervised Classifiers. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/52981 (accessed on 11 August 2024).

Gabr MI, Helmy YM, Elzanfaly DS. Data Completeness and Imputation Methods on Supervised Classifiers. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/52981. Accessed August 11, 2024.

Gabr, Menna Ibrahim, Yehia Mostafa Helmy, Doaa Saad Elzanfaly. "Data Completeness and Imputation Methods on Supervised Classifiers" *Encyclopedia*, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/52981 (accessed August 11, 2024).

Gabr, M.I., Helmy, Y.M., & Elzanfaly, D.S. (2023, December 20). Data Completeness and Imputation Methods on Supervised Classifiers. In *Encyclopedia*. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/52981

Gabr, Menna Ibrahim, et al. "Data Completeness and Imputation Methods on Supervised Classifiers." *Encyclopedia*. Web. 20 December, 2023.

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Data completeness is one of the most common challenges that hinder the performance of data analytics platforms. Different studies have assessed the effect of missing values on different classification models based on a single evaluation metric, namely, accuracy. However, accuracy on its own is a misleading measure of classifier performance because it does not consider unbalanced datasets.

data quality
data completeness
missing patterns
imputation techniques
Performance Measure

With the increasing value of data in all business fields, data quality is considered to be a major challenge, especially when it comes to analytics. Data analytics platforms (DAP) are integrated services and technologies that are used to support insightful business decisions from large amounts of raw data that come from a variety of sources. Learning about the quality of these data is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of the analytics delivered by these platforms. Data quality is measured through different dimensions ^{[1]}. Among these dimensions, data completeness is the most challenging. Completeness, as a data quality dimension, means the dataset is free of missing values (MVs or NAs). The causes for missing data are known as the missingness mechanisms (MMs). These mechanisms can be categorized into three classes: Missing Completely at Random (MCAR), Missing at Random (MAR), and Missing Not at Random (MNAR) ^{[2]}. In the case of MCAR, values are missing independently of any other values, whereas in MAR, values in one feature (variable) are missing based on the values of another feature. In MNAR, values in one feature (variable) are missing based on the values of the same feature ^{[3]}. It has been shown in different studies that when missing data comprise a large percentage of the dataset, the performance of the classification models, which can give misleading results, is affected ^{[4]}. Numerous techniques are presented in the literature to deal with missing values, ranging from simply discarding these values by deleting the whole record, to using different imputation methods (IMs) such as the K-nearest neighbor (KNN) algorithm, mean, and mode techniques ^{[2]}^{[3]}^{[5]}^{[6]}^{[7]}^{[8]}^{[9]}^{[10]}^{[11]}^{[12]}. Selecting the best method for handling MVs is dependent on an extensive analysis of the performance of each method. Different measures are used to evaluate these methods, such as accuracy ^{[13]}, balanced accuracy ^{[14]}, F1-score ^{[15]}, Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) ^{[16]}, Bookmaker Informedness ^{[17]}, Cohen’s kappa ^{[18]}, Krippendorf’s alpha ^{[19]}, Area Under ROC Curve (AUC) ^{[20]}, precision, recall and specificity ^{[21]}, error rate ^{[22]}, geometric mean, and others ^{[23]}. Most research in this area has focused on studying the effect of the IMs on different classifiers ^{[24]}^{[25]}^{[26]}^{[27]}. Though most of these studies concluded that the choice of the IM influences the performance of the classifiers ^{[28]}^{[29]}, few of them took the properties of the datasets, such as size, type, and balance, into consideration when reaching this conclusion. The work in ^{[30]} considered the properties of the datasets when analyzing the relationship between the IMs and the performance of different classifiers. However, this analysis is based on the accuracy of the classifiers as a single evaluation metric. Accuracy, by itself, can be a misleading measure in some cases as it does not consider the unbalancing factor in the datasets. Different evaluation metrics need to be considered since most of the real-life datasets in different domains are unbalanced ^{[31]}.

There is a limited number of studies that examine the effect of missing values on the behavior of the classifiers based on the properties of the datasets and using several criteria. In ^{[30]}, the authors provide an extensive analysis of the behavior of eleven supervised classification algorithms: regularized logistic regression, linear discriminant analysis, quadratic discriminant analysis, deep neural networks, support vector machine, radial basis function, Gaussian naïve Bayes classifier, gradient boosting, random forests, decision trees, and k-nearest neighbor classifier, against ten numeric and mixed (numeric and categorical) datasets. They deduced that the behavior of the classifiers is dependent on the missing data pattern and the imputation method that is used to handle these values. Authors in ^{[32]} investigated the influence of missing data on six classifiers, Bayesian classifier, decision tree, neural networks, linear regression, K-nearest neighbors classifier, fuzzy sets, and fuzzy logic. They used accuracy as a metric to evaluate the performance of the classifiers on ten datasets. They reported that as the percentage of missing values increases, the performance of the classifiers decreases. Among the classifiers, naïve Bayesian has the least sensitivity to NAs. In ^{[33]}, the authors show the effect of missing data on two classifiers, the deep neural network and the Bayesian probabilistic factorization, using two datasets. They judged the performance using different evaluation metrics: the coefficient of determination (R2), the mean absolute error (MAE), the root mean square deviation (RMSD), the precision, the recall, the F1-score, and the Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) were calculated. They concluded that the degradation of the performance was slow when there was a small ratio of NAs in the training dataset and accelerated when the NA ratio reached 80%. Another study ^{[34]} presented the influence of missing data at random on the performance of the support vector machine (SVM) and the random forest classifiers using two different datasets. The accuracy metric was used to validate the results and the study concluded that the performance of the classifiers was reduced when the percentage of MVs was over 8%. The problem of missing data using the transfer learning perspective, the least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) model, is handled in ^{[35]} using seven different datasets. Besides this approach, the authors used other techniques such as case deletion, mean, and KNN imputation techniques. The results were validated using the accuracy metric. They proved that LS-SVM is the best method to handle missing data problems. A comparative study of several approaches for handling missing data, namely, listwise deletion(which means deleting the records that have missing values), mean, mode, k-nearest neighbors, expectation-maximization, and multiple imputations, is performed in ^{[36]} using two numeric and categorical datasets. The performance of the classifiers is evaluated using the following measures: accuracy, root mean squared error, receiver operating characteristics, and the F1-score. They deduced that support vector machine performs well with numeric datasets, whereas naïve Bayes is better with categorical datasets. In ^{[37]}, they provide a comprehensive analysis to select the best method to handle missing data through 25 real datasets. They introduced a Provenance Meta Learning Framework which is evaluated using different evaluation metrics, namely, true positive rate (TP Rate), precision, F-measure, ROC area, and the Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC). They concluded that there is no universally single best missing data handling method. Other studies have handled the missing values problem using deep learning models, such as the work presented in ^{[38]}, which used an artificial neural network (ANN) to handle the completeness problem. Few studies have investigated the relationship between the classifiers’ sensitivity to missing values and imputation techniques under the case of imbalanced and balanced datasets using different evaluation metrics to verify the results.

Numerous techniques exist in the literature to handle missing values. Among these techniques, three simple baseline imputations were used, namely, the KNN imputation, the mean, and the mode as imputation techniques. They were used individually and in combination, based on the nature of the dataset at hand. The main reason for choosing these techniques is that they represent the main two different approaches for imputation. The mean and median are forms of central tendency measures, whereas the KNN imputation is a mining technique that relies on the most information from the present data to predict the missing values ^{[39]}. The advantages of the chosen imputation techniques are considered to be that they are simple, faster, and can improve the accuracy of the classification results. However, the disadvantages of the KNN method are its difficulty in choosing the distance function and the number of neighbors, and its loss in performance with a complex pattern. Furthermore, the disadvantages of the mean method are that the correlation is negatively biased and the distribution of new values is an incorrect representation of the population values because the new distribution is distorted by adding values equal to the mean ^{[11]}.

This is also known as the Hot Deck imputation method ^{[6]}. This method replaces missing data with the nearest value using the KNN algorithm. One of the advantages of the KNN imputation method is that it can be used with both qualitative and quantitative attributes ^{[7]}^{[40]}, it does not require creating a predictive model for each attribute having missing data, it can easily handle instances with multiple missing values, and it takes into consideration the correlation of the data ^{[9]}. Selecting the distance method is considered to be challenging.

This method replaces the missing values in one column with the mean of the known values of that column. It works with quantitative attributes ^{[7]}^{[40]}^{[41]}. However, although the mean imputation method has a good experimental result when it is used for supervised classification tasks ^{[9]}, it is biased by the existence of the outliers, hence leading to a biased variance ^{[42]}.

This method replaces the missing values in one column with the mode (most frequent value) of the known values of that column. It works with qualitative attributes ^{[7]}^{[40]}. The disadvantage of this method is that it leads to underestimation of the variance ^{[43]}.

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