I’d like some advice on my options for modeling features (to be used in R) in the following scenario: I want to make a binary prediction using the positions of the planets as the predictors (the X’s). My issue is how best to model the planet positions to allow them to be used by functions such as randomForest and SVM. The problem is with missing, or more appropriately NULL, values for a feature.
As X’s, for each day, I want to capture:
- Whether the moon is new or full (possibly 1 or 2 features – 1 if value = N|F, 2 if each is a Y|N value))
- Whether a planet is changing signs (e.g., going into Aries – the same as crossing a 30 degree multiple) (one feature per planet, where value = Y|N if planet is changing signs today))
- Whether there is an important aspect (angular division) between any pair of planets. An aspect is important if it’s 0, 60, 120, 180 degrees. (N(N-1)/2 features where N = 9 … 36 features). The feature will be a factor with likely values: 0, 60, 120, 180
My big issue is with #3 and how to represent a day when there is no interesting (0,60,120,180) angular difference between a given pair of planets. For example, consider Mercury and Mars. On a day when the angular difference between the Mercury and Mars is 47.52 degrees I really don’t want to record anything, i.e., the value of feature Mercury.Mars would be empty/NULL as 47.52 is not considered important and I don’t want to use it as input to the prediction function (randomForest, SVM, …, etc). The value on such a day is not really missing in the sense that it’s not known or it’s been left out, there just isn’t a value for that feature for that day. Most days will not have an interesting aspect value.
So, how best to model this situation? My concerns:
- If I don’t record a value (i.e., it’s really missing) then randomForest won’t work as it can’t handle missing values. Not sure about SVM and other functions.
- If I put some generic value to indicate “nothing here today”, for example *, then I’m concerned that the prediction function (rf, SVM) may associate some uncontrolled-by-me meaning to the “nothing here today” value
Your thoughts? Thank You.