Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Random Forests and Predicting Fracking

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When you have thousands of variables that you can select from to describe and predict whether active fracking is occurring, how do you choose? Random forests are a learning method that uses an ensemble of decision trees to build a predictive model. We’ll discuss how to make a random forest and how we used one to tell what measures from the microbiome and the sample site best predicted active fracking status.