A method to solve the Higgs boson challenge using Least Squares – Novae

This project is the Project 1 of EPFL CS-433 Machine Learning. The project is the same as the Higgs Boson Machine Learning Challenge posted on Kaggle. The dataset and the detailed description can also be found in the GitHub repository of the course.

Team name: Novae

Team members: Giacomo Orsi, Vittorio Rossi, Chun-Tso Tsai

About the Project

The task of this project is to train a model based on the provided train.csv to have the best prediction on the data given in test.csv or any other general case.

We built our model for the problem using regularized linear regression after applying some data cleaning and features engineering techniques. A report describing our approach and our results can be found in the file report.pdf. In the end, we obtained an accuracy of 0.836 and an F1 score of 0.751 on the test.csv dataset.


  • The project runs under Python 3.8 and requires NumPy=1.19.
  • Please make sure to place train.csv and test.csv inside the data folder. Those files can be downloaded here.
  • Go to the script/ folder and execute run.py. A model will be trained with the given hyper-parameters and predictions for the test dataset will be outputed in the file out.csv.



Contains the implementations of different learning algorithms. Including

  • Least squares linear regression
    • least_squares: Direct computation from linear equations.
    • least_squares_GD: Gradient descent.
    • least_squares_SGD: Stochastic gradient descent.
    • ridge_regression: Regularized linear regression from direct computation.
  • Logistic regression
    • logistic_regression: Gradient descent
    • reg_logistic_regression: Gradient descent with regularization.

There are also some helper functions in this file to facilitate the above functions.


Calls the following files to process the data.

  • data_cleaning.py: Contains functions used to
    1. Categorize data into subgroups.
    2. Replace missing values with the median.
    3. Standardize the features.
  • feature_engineering.py: Contains functions used to generate our interpretable features.


Generates the submission .csv file based on the data of test.csv stored in the folder data/. Our optimized model is also defined in this file.

Some helper Functions

  • models.py: Create the models for predicting the labels for new data points without true labels.
  • expansions.py: Contains a function to apply polynomial expansion to our features to add extra degrees of freedom for our models.
  • proj1_helpers.py: Contains functions which loads the .csv files as training or testing data, and create the .csv file for submission.
  • cross_validation.py: Contains a function to build the index for k-fold cross_validation.
  • disk_helper.py: Save/load the NumPy array to disk for further usage. Useful for saving hyper-parameters when trying a long training process.


It is possible to use the Jupyter notebook project_notebook.ipynb located in the scripts folder to train the best hyper-parameters for the model. In the notebook it is possible to cross-validate a logistic and a least square regression model over given lambdas and degrees.


View Github