Applying permutation tests to tree-based statistical models: extending the R package rpart

Abstract

Tree-based statistical models are useful for evaluating relationships between predictor and response variables and for generating predictions when the response is unknown. However, current methods of constructing tree-based models do not provide a probabilistic assessment of the models produced. Here we describe our work to use permutation tests to quantitatively estimate the probability of tree-based statistical models. We have extended the rpart (recursive partitioning) package of the R system for statistical data analysis. This extension, rpart.permutation, executes the permutations in parallel, using MPI (Message Passing Interface) to greatly decrease the time necessary to complete the analysis.

Publication
Technical Report CS-TR-4581, UMIACS-TR-2004-24, University of Maryland