## Introduction

AdaBoost, or Adaptive Boost, is a relatively new machine learning classification algorithm. It is an **ensemble** algorithm that combines many weak learners (decision trees) and turns it into one strong learner. Thus, its algorithm leverages **bagging **and **boosting **methods to develop an enhanced predictor.

If these words are confusing to you, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll go through a simple example to show how AdaBoost works and the math behind it.

## What Makes AdaBoost Different

AdaBoost is similar to Random Forests in the sense that the predictions are taken from many decision trees. However, there are three main differences that make AdaBoost unique:

- First, AdaBoost creates a forest of stumps rather than trees. A stump is a tree that is made of only one node and two leaves (like the image above).
- Second, the stumps that are created are not equally weighted in the final decision (final prediction). Stumps that create more error will have less say in the final decision.
- Lastly, the order in which the stumps are made is important, because each stump aims to reduce the errors that the previous stump(s) made.

## An Example of How AdaBoost Works

Let’s look at an example now. Suppose we have the sample data below, with three features (x1, x2, x3) and an output (Y). *Note that T = True and F = False.*

### Step 1: Assign a sample weight for each sample

Using the equation above, calculate the sample weight for each sample. For the first round, the sample weight will be equal. In this example, the sample weight for each sample will be equal to 1/6.

### Step 2: Calculate the Gini Impurity for each variable

The next step is to calculate the Gini Impurity for each variable. This is done to determine which variable to use to create the first stump. The formula to calculate the Gini Impurity of each node is as follows:

Once you calculate the Gini Impurity of each node, the total Gini Impurity for each variable is the weighted average of the impurities of each node.

To show an example, let’s calculate the Gini Impurity of x2.

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