The main differences between StandardScaler and MinMaxScaler lie in the way they scale the data, the range of values they produce, and the specific applications they’re suited for.

StandardScaler subtracts the mean from each data point and then divides the result by the standard deviation. This results in a dataset with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

MinMaxScaler, on the other hand, subtracts the minimum value from each data point and then divides the result by the difference between the maximum and minimum values. This results in a dataset with values ranging between 0 and 1.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these scaling techniques and how they work.

## What Is The Formula For StandardScaler?#

The formula for the standard scaler transform is:

$$z = \frac{x - \mu}{\sigma}$$

Where:

• $z$ is the standardized value
• $x$ is the original value
• $\mu$ is the average value of the feature (mean)
• $\sigma$ is the standard deviation of the feature

Subtracting the mean is also known as centering the data.

To reverse the transformation, you can use the following formula:

$$x = z * \sigma + \mu$$

This will return the original value of the feature.

## How To Use StandardScaler In Python (Example)#

In this example, I’ll show you how to use the StandardScaler from the scikit-learn library.

from sklearn.preprocessing import StandardScaler
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
import numpy as np

# Sample dataset
data = np.array([[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6], [7, 8], [9, 10]])

# Split the data into train and test sets
train_data, test_data = train_test_split(data, test_size=0.4, random_state=42)

# Create a StandardScaler instance
scaler = StandardScaler()

# Fit the scaler using only the train data
scaler.fit(train_data)

# Transform both the train and test data using the fitted scaler
scaled_train_data = scaler.transform(train_data)
scaled_test_data = scaler.transform(test_data)

print("Scaled Train Data:")
print(scaled_train_data)
print("Scaled Test Data:")
print(scaled_test_data)


In this example, we first split the data into train and test sets, then fit the StandardScaler using only the train data.

It’s important to split your data before scaling because if you scale the entire dataset, you may cause data leakage.

Data leakage occurs when information that is not available in the real world is used to train your machine learning model.

This can lead to overfitting and poor performance on new data.

In the real world, you will not have access to the mean and standard deviation values for your test data features when training your model.

Therefore, you should only use the train data to fit the scaler and then transform both the train and test data.

Finally, we transform both the train and test data using the fitted scaler.

You can reverse the scaling applied by the StandardScaler using the inverse_transform method.

This method takes the scaled data as input and returns the original (unscaled) data.

Here’s an example:

from sklearn.preprocessing import StandardScaler
import numpy as np

data = np.array([[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]])
scaler = StandardScaler()
scaled_data = scaler.fit_transform(data)

# Reverse the scaling
original_data = scaler.inverse_transform(scaled_data)

print("Original Data:")
print(original_data)


## What Is The Formula For MinMaxScaler?#

The formula for the min-max scaler transform is:

$$x_\text{scaled} = \frac{x - \text{min}}{\text{max} - \text{min}}$$

Where:

• $x_\text{scaled}$ is the normalized value
• $x$ is the original value
• $\text{min}$ is the minimum value of the feature
• $\text{max}$ is the maximum value of the feature

By applying this formula to each data point and feature, they will be scaled to a range with a maximum value of 1 and a minimum value of 0.

To reverse the transformation, you can use the following formula:

$$x = x_\text{scaled} * (\text{max} - \text{min}) + \text{min}$$

This will return the original value of the feature.

$\text{max}$ and $\text{min}$ are the original maximum and minimum values of the feature.

## How To Use MinMaxScaler In Python (Example)#

In this section, let’s see an example of using the MinMaxScaler from the scikit-learn library with a train-test split.

You already understand the importance of splitting the data before scaling, so I won’t go into that again here.

from sklearn.preprocessing import MinMaxScaler
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
import numpy as np

# Sample dataset
data = np.array([[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6], [7, 8], [9, 10]])

# Split the data into train and test sets
train_data, test_data = train_test_split(data, test_size=0.4, random_state=42)

# Create a MinMaxScaler instance
scaler = MinMaxScaler()

# Fit the scaler using only the train data
scaler.fit(train_data)

# Transform both the train and test data using the fitted scaler
scaled_train_data = scaler.transform(train_data)
scaled_test_data = scaler.transform(test_data)

print("Scaled Train Data:")
print(scaled_train_data)
print("Scaled Test Data:")
print(scaled_test_data)


As you can see, it’s very similar to the example for the StandardScaler, but now we’re using the MinMaxScaler instead.

After running this code, you’ll see that the transformed data is within the range of 0 and 1.

Just like before, to reverse the scaling, you can use the inverse_transform method.

from sklearn.preprocessing import MinMaxScaler
import numpy as np

# Sample dataset
data = np.array([[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]])

# Create a MinMaxScaler instance
scaler = MinMaxScaler()

# Fit the scaler using the sample data
scaler.fit(data)

# Transform the data using the fitted scaler
scaled_data = scaler.transform(data)

print("Scaled Data:")
print(scaled_data)

# Reverse the scaling
original_data = scaler.inverse_transform(scaled_data)

print("Original Data:")
print(original_data)


## Should I Use StandardScaler Or MinMaxScaler?#

The best approach is often to experiment with both options and see which one works best for your specific dataset and machine learning problem.

Compare the validation scores of your model when using each scaler and choose the one that gives the best results.

If you have a lot of outliers in your data, you may want to use the RobustScaler instead of these two.

## Can StandardScaler And MinMaxScaler Be Applied To Categorical Data?#

These scalers are not suitable for categorical data. They are designed for continuous numerical features.

When dealing with categorical data, you should use encoding techniques like One-Hot Encoding or Ordinal Encoding, which are specifically designed to handle categorical variables.

## Can StandardScaler And MinMaxScaler Be Applied To The Target Variable?#

While these scalers are typically used for input features (also known as predictors, independent variables, or X), they can also be used for target variables (dependent variables, or y) in certain cases.

For example, if your target variable is a continuous numeric variable and you’re using a regression algorithm that is sensitive to the scale of the input data, it may be helpful to scale the target variable as well.

Another practical case is when you are doing a regression over entities that have different target variable scales.

When trying to predict a building’s energy consumption, for example, you may have a dataset with buildings of different sizes and widely varying energy consumption values.

In this case, standardizing the target variable separately for each building can help the model learn the patterns in the data more effectively.

However, it’s important to remember that after predicting the scaled target variable, you’ll need to use the inverse_transform() method to convert the predictions back to their original scale before evaluating your model’s performance.

## Is It Mandatory To Use Scaling Techniques In Every Machine Learning Project?#

No, it’s not mandatory to use scaling techniques in every machine learning project.

However, many machine learning algorithms, especially those that rely on distance calculations or gradient-based optimization, are sensitive to the scale of the input features.

In these cases, applying feature scaling can improve the performance and convergence speed of your model.

On the other hand, there are algorithms, such as decision trees and random forests, that are not sensitive to the scale of the input data and do not require scaling.

It’s essential to understand your chosen algorithm’s properties and requirements to determine whether feature scaling is necessary or beneficial for your project.

## What Is The Relationship Between Standardization And Z-Score?#

The relationship between standardization and z-score is that they are essentially the same process.

Standardization is the process of transforming a dataset into a standard scale, while the z-score is the resulting value after the transformation.

When you standardize a dataset, you are converting each data point to a z-score.