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This question is about the use of statistics language on this website.

I've developed a set of features. Do I now "assess the effectiveness of these features in classifying data" or "assess the effectiveness of models using these features in classifying data"?

Sorry if this is not the correct place to post, but it seems like the best option.

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I think you could ask this question on the main site, but it's probably fine to ask it here too. I think terminology is not well standardized or used consistently across disciplines, which is a minor pet peeve of mine. As a result, you could probably ask it either way, you just need to be careful when talking to others (either as speaker or listener) that everyone is on the same page.

All that having been said, I would say that the two versions imply slightly different meanings. The first ("of these features"), implies you have a model, say logistic regression, and you are trying to figure out which features belong in the model or don't. The second ("of models using these features"), implies you will use these features in whichever model you end up choosing, but you are trying to figure out what type of model (e.g., logistic regression, vs. k-nearest neighbor, vs. SVM, vs. CART, etc.) you want to use as your classifier. Note that these two interpretations parallel two different modeling activities and for which we have two distinct tags: and (which, as far as I can tell, are used interchangeably).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help. I intend the first meaning, and since your interpretation of the first is closest to what I'm going for, I'll stick with that $\endgroup$ – randomcastle Sep 30 '14 at 3:51

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