I have a highly imbalanced dataset (0.21 percent positives, rest negatives) for which I am trying to build a classifier.

I tried to improve the F1 scores using hyperparameter tuning but in all the iterations, I got either good recall or good precision scores. Never the both. One came at the cost of another.

Is there a way to use these two models to improve the F1 and reduce the number of false positives being produced by the model with good recall but bad precision.


1 Answer 1


I would start by looking at the formulas:


$precision = \frac{TP}{TP+FP}$

$F_1 = 2 \frac{(precision) (recall)}{precision+recall}$

From here it is easy to see that precision and recall are inversely proportional. This means when one increases, the other one decreases. One option is to adjust your threshold and analyze your f1 score. If you are working in python, try looking into the get_metrics_report function from sklearn which yields a very useful table for this cases.

Try reducing your FN ratio (by adjusting your threshold) to increase recall and F1 but this will inherently come with a precision cost. How much precision can be sacrificied? Depends on you and the context of your problem.

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean with inversely proportional? Also the relation (for a single trained classifier) between the precision and recall is the precision recall curve which can take very complex forms. $\endgroup$
    – Ggjj11
    Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 2:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.