Unsupervised random forest: a tutorial with case studies

Nelson L. Afanador, Agnieszka Smolinska, Thanh N. Tran, Lionel Blanchet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Web of Science)


Unsupervised methods, such as principal component analysis, have gained popularity and wide-spread acceptance in the chemometrics and applied statistics communities. Unsupervised random forest is an additional method capable of discovering underlying patterns in the data. However, the number of applications of unsupervised random forest in chemometrics has been limited. One possible cause for this is the belief that random forest can only be used in a supervised analysis setting. This tutorial introduces the basic concepts of unsupervised random forest and illustrates several applications in chemometrics through worked examples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-241
JournalJournal of Chemometrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • random forest
  • unsupervised methods
  • explorative analysis
  • visualization

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