Variable Selection using Cross-Validation (and Other Techniques)

A natural technique to select variables in the context of generalized linear models is to use a stepŵise procedure. It is natural, but contreversial, as discussed by Frank Harrell  in a great post, clearly worth reading. Frank mentioned about 10 points against a stepwise procedure.

  • It yields R-squared values that are badly biased to be high.
  • The F and chi-squared tests quoted next to each variable on the printout do not have the claimed distribution.
  • The method yields confidence intervals for effects and predicted values that are falsely narrow (see Altman and Andersen (1989)).
  • It yields p-values that do not have the proper meaning, and the proper correction for them is a difficult problem.
  • It gives biased regression coefficients that need shrinkage (the coefficients for remaining variables are too large (see Tibshirani (1996)).
  • It has severe problems in the presence of collinearity.
  • It is based on methods (e.g., F tests for nested models) that were intended to be used to test prespecified hypotheses.
  • Increasing the sample size does not help very much (see Derksen and Keselman (1992)).
  • It allows us to not think about the problem.
  • It uses a lot of paper.

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