A Genetic Jackknife Method: 3-in-1 Tool for
Variable Selection, Data Mining
and Model Building
Bruce Ratner, Ph.D.
The trinity of traditional analytical techniques - variable selection, data mining, and model building - is presented in detail along with their strengths and weaknesses. Then, I introduce a new “jackknife” method that is a 3-in-1 tool for automatically and simultaneously performing the trinity of techniques: selecting important original variables, finding patterns within the data by constructing new important variables from the original variables, and formulating a mathematical equation based on the best set of original and constructed variables. The jackknife method is based on the assumption-free, nonparametric genetic paradigm inspired by Darwin’s Principle of Survival of the Fittest and the biological operations of reproduction, sexual recombination and mutation. The genetic jackknife method offers a clear advantage over current statistical methods, whose performance is dependent upon theoretical assumptions, predefined model formulations, and data-type restrictions. A case study is presented to illustrate the potential of the new method for building database marketing and CRM models with the GenIQ software implementation of the new method.