Quick Start

If you’re new to Feature-engine this guide will get you started. Feature-engine transformers have the methods fit() and transform() to learn parameters from the data and then modify the data. They work just like any Scikit- learn transformer.


Feature-engine is a Python 3 package and works well with 3.5 or later. Earlier versions have not been tested. The simplest way to install Feature-engine is from PyPI with pip, Python’s preferred package installer.

$ pip install feature-engine

Note that Feature-engine is an active project and routinely publishes new releases. In order to upgrade Feature-engine to the latest version, use pip as follows.

$ pip install -U feature-engine

You can also use the -U flag to update Scikit-learn, pandas, NumPy, or any other libraries that work well with Feature-engine to their latest versions.

Once installed, you should be able to import Feature-engine without an error, both in Python and inside of Jupyter notebooks.

Example Use

This is an example of how to use Feature-engine’s transformers to perform missing data imputation.

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

import feature_engine.missing_data_imputers as mdi

# Load dataset
data = pd.read_csv('houseprice.csv')

# Separate into train and test sets
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(
data.drop(['Id', 'SalePrice'], axis=1), data['SalePrice'], test_size=0.3, random_state=0)

# set up the imputer
median_imputer = mdi.MeanMedianImputer(imputation_method='median',
                                       variables=['LotFrontage', 'MasVnrArea'])
# fit the imputer

# transform the data
train_t= median_imputer.transform(X_train)
test_t= median_imputer.transform(X_test)

fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(111)
X_train['LotFrontage'].plot(kind='kde', ax=ax)
train_t['LotFrontage'].plot(kind='kde', ax=ax, color='red')
lines, labels = ax.get_legend_handles_labels()
ax.legend(lines, labels, loc='best')

More examples can be found in the documentation for each transformer and in a dedicated section of Jupyter notebooks.

Feature-engine with Scikit-learn’s pipeline

Feature-engine’s transformers can be assembled within a Scikit-learn pipeline. This way, we can store our feature engineering pipeline in one object and save it in one pickle (.pkl). Here is an example on how to do it:

from math import sqrt
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from sklearn.linear_model import Lasso
from sklearn.metrics import mean_squared_error
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from sklearn.pipeline import Pipeline as pipe
from sklearn.preprocessing import MinMaxScaler

from feature_engine import categorical_encoders as ce
from feature_engine import discretisers as dsc
from feature_engine import missing_data_imputers as mdi

# load dataset
data = pd.read_csv('houseprice.csv')

# drop some variables
data.drop(labels=['YearBuilt', 'YearRemodAdd', 'GarageYrBlt', 'Id'], axis=1, inplace=True)

# categorical encoders work only with object type variables
data[discrete]= data[discrete].astype('O')

# separate into train and test sets
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(data.drop(labels=['SalePrice'], axis=1),

# set up the pipeline
price_pipe = pipe([
    # add a binary variable to indicate missing information for the 2 variables below
    ('continuous_var_imputer', mdi.AddNaNBinaryImputer(variables = ['LotFrontage'])),

    # replace NA by the median in the 2 variables below, they are numerical
    ('continuous_var_median_imputer', mdi.MeanMedianImputer(imputation_method='median', variables = ['LotFrontage', 'MasVnrArea'])),

    # replace NA by adding the label "Missing" in categorical variables
    ('categorical_imputer', mdi.CategoricalVariableImputer(variables = categorical)),

    # disretise numerical variables using trees
    ('numerical_tree_discretiser', dsc.DecisionTreeDiscretiser(cv = 3, scoring='neg_mean_squared_error', variables = numerical, regression=True)),

    # remove rare labels in categorical and discrete variables
    ('rare_label_encoder', ce.RareLabelCategoricalEncoder(tol = 0.03, n_categories=1, variables = categorical+discrete)),

    # encode categorical and discrete variables using the target mean
    ('categorical_encoder', ce.MeanCategoricalEncoder(variables = categorical+discrete)),

    # scale features
    ('scaler', MinMaxScaler()),

    # Lasso
    ('lasso', Lasso(random_state=2909, alpha=0.005))

# train feature engineering transformers and Lasso
price_pipe.fit(X_train, np.log(y_train))

# predict
pred_train = price_pipe.predict(X_train)
pred_test = price_pipe.predict(X_test)

# Evaluate
print('Lasso Linear Model train mse: {}'.format(mean_squared_error(y_train, np.exp(pred_train))))
print('Lasso Linear Model train rmse: {}'.format(sqrt(mean_squared_error(y_train, np.exp(pred_train)))))
print('Lasso Linear Model test mse: {}'.format(mean_squared_error(y_test, np.exp(pred_test))))
print('Lasso Linear Model train rmse: {}'.format(sqrt(mean_squared_error(y_test, np.exp(pred_test)))))
Lasso Linear Model train mse: 949189263.8948538
Lasso Linear Model train rmse: 30808.9153313591

Lasso Linear Model test mse: 1344649485.0641894
Lasso Linear Model train rmse: 36669.46256852136
plt.scatter(y_test, np.exp(pred_test))
plt.xlabel('True Price')
plt.ylabel('Predicted Price')

More examples can be found in the documentation for each transformer and in a dedicated section of Jupyter notebooks.

Dataset attribution

The user guide and examples included in Feature-engine’s documetation are based on these 2 datasets:

Titanic dataset

We use the dataset available in openML which can be downloaded from here.

Ames House Prices dataset

We use the data set created by Professor Dean De Cock: * Dean De Cock (2011) Ames, Iowa: Alternative to the Boston Housing * Data as an End of Semester Regression Project, Journal of Statistics Education, Vol.19, No. 3.

The examples are based on a copy of the dataset available on Kaggle.

However, original data and documentation can be found here: