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Model Development and Experiment Manager

This example shows how to use MATLAB® Experiment Manager with Modelscape™ at various stages of model development.

This example sets up experiments, uses Modelscape validation metrics in the process, and bridges the gap between Experiment Manager and model documentation. This example uses a feature selection process that works through all the subsets of the predictors to find the best subset using the performance metric of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC). Such exhaustive feature selection, though computationally intense, allows you to compare against more effective methods in the process of model validation.

This example uses the CreditCardData.mat data set, which contains three tables of customer information such as age, income, and employment status. After excluding the response variable (status) and the customer id, this data set has nine possible predictors. This example creates an experiment with nine trials such that the Kth trial runs through all the K-element subsets of the maximal, nine-element predictor set. This example shows how to set up hyperparameters, write and run the experiment, and document the experiment results.

Write Experiment in Experiment Manager

Load the Experiment Manager App from the app gallery in MATLAB. Create a Blank Project and select ‘Custom Training’ under ‘Blank Experiments’. Set a hyperparameter K to control the number of predictors in each trial, and other hyperparameters to control the training and test sets used in all the trials, as shown in the table below.

To write the experiment function, click 'Edit' underneath the ‘Training Function’ box.

This opens a Live Script with an empty function body. Fill in the function written below. The function has two inputs. params is a struct whose fields correspond to the given hyperparameters (in this case K), and monitor is an experiments.Monitor object.

function output = Experiment1_training1(params,monitor)
    allData = load(params.DataSource);

    partition = cvpartition(1200, "Holdout", params.Holdout);
    trainingData =,:);
    testData =,:);
    monitor.Metrics = "AUROC";
    monitor.Info = ["MaxAUROC", "InSampleAUROC", "MeanAUROC", "StdDevAUROC"];
    allVars = trainingData.Properties.VariableNames;
    predictorFlags = ~ismember(allVars, {'status', 'CustID'});
    predictorVars = allVars(predictorFlags);

    N = numel(predictorVars);
    K = params.K;
    numRuns = nchoosek(N, K);
    masks =,K);
    bestAUROC = 0;
    bestInSampleAUROC = 0;
    allAurocs = zeros(numRuns, 1);

    for i = 1:numRuns
        % choose a set of predictors
        thesePredictors = predictorVars(masks{i});

        % fit the model for these predictors
        sc = creditscorecard(trainingData, ...
            'IDVar', 'CustID', ...
            'ResponseVar', 'status', ...
            'GoodLabel', 0, ...
            'BinMissingData', true, ...
            'PredictorVars', thesePredictors);
        sc = autobinning(sc);
        sc = fitmodel(sc, 'VariableSelection','fullmodel');
        monitor.Progress = i/numRuns*100;

        % evaluate model on test data
        iScores = score(sc, testData);

        % record performance metrics
        aurocMetric =, iScores);
        recordMetrics(monitor, i, "AUROC", aurocMetric.Value);
        allAurocs(i) = aurocMetric.Value;
        if aurocMetric.Value > bestAUROC
            bestAUROC = aurocMetric.Value;
            updateInfo(monitor, "MaxAUROC", aurocMetric.Value);
            output.model = sc;
            output.predictors = thesePredictors;

        % record in-sample auroc
        inSampleScores = score(sc, trainingData);
        inSampleAUROC =, inSampleScores);
        if inSampleAUROC.Value > bestInSampleAUROC
            bestInSampleAUROC = inSampleAUROC.Value;
            updateInfo(monitor, "InSampleAUROC", inSampleAUROC.Value);
    updateInfo(monitor, "StdDevAUROC", std(allAurocs), "MeanAUROC", mean(allAurocs));

The Monitor object can record two types of data: 'Metrics' and 'Info'.

  • Metrics are parametrized data (in this example by the index of the predictor subset). Save metric levels by calling recordMetrics.

  • Information fields carry just a single datum per trial. Save information fields by calling updateInfo.

You can write several metrics and information fields. This example reports the maximum, the mean, and standard deviation of all the recorded out-of-sample AUROC scores. This allows you to compare the distribution of the achieved AUROC values with the mean value. The experiment also records the maximal achieved in-sample score for sanity checking purposes.

The output of the experiment consists of the optimal set of predictors along with a model fitted using that subset.

Analyze Experiment Results

Run the experiment to produce the following table.

The table shows you the maximal achieved in-sample and out-of-sample AUROCs, along with the mean and standard deviation for each trial. You can see that in-sample metrics are broadly increasing with the number of predictors, as expected, whereas out-of-sample AUROC decreases for large values of K as the model becomes overfitted.

The final column in the table shows the value of the AUROC metric for the last K-element predictor set. This kind of metric is useful for trials that estimate some parameter with increasing accuracy.

Clicking 'Training Plot' in the Experiment Manager shows how the metric varies over the K-element subsets, as shown here for the fifth trial.

You can add 'annotations' to the summary table by right-clicking on any cell.

Document with Modelscape Reporting

To record your findings in model documentation, use Modelscape Reporting. Use function fillReportFromWorkspace to include development artifacts such as tables in Microsoft Word documents. For more information, see Model Documentation in Modelscape.

You can extract the summary table and the annotations from the Experiment Manager outputs and insert them in documents using fillReportFromWorkspace. To do this, you need the name of the experiment and a set of results. These can be found in the Experiment Browser part of Experiment Manager.

Here 'FirstExample' is the name of the project, 'ExhaustiveSearchExample' is the name of the experiment, and 'MaxMeanAndStdDev' is name of the set of results. You can rename the experiment and the results by right-clicking on these names.

Use function extractExperimentResults in either Live Script or Command Window to extract the summary table and the annotations. This call should take place in the root folder of the project - otherwise use the optional ProjectFolder argument to point to the correct location.

[results, annotations] = extractExperimentResults('ExhaustiveSearchExample', 'MaxMeanAndStdDev')

Save a Word document ExhaustiveDocExample.mlx in the project folder and create in it placeholders titled FSSummary and FSDetails. Select columns from the results and annotations tables into variables whose names match these placeholder titles.

FSSummary = results(:,{'K','MaxAUROC','MeanAUROC','StdDevAUROC'});
FSDetails = annotations(:,{'K','Header','Comment'});

Push these tables to the model document.

previewDocument = fillReportFromWorkspace('ExhaustiveDocExample.docx');

Your tables then appear in the Word document.