UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Comparative Study of Random Forest and Support Vector Machine Algorithms in Mineral Prospectivity Mapping with Limited Training Data Lachaud, Alix; Adam, Marcus; Miskovic, Ilija


This paper employs two data-driven methods, Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machines (SVM), to develop mineral prospectivity models for an epithermal Au deposit. Four distinct models are presented for comparison: one employing RF and three using SVM with different kernel functions—namely linear, Radial Basis Function (RBF), and polynomial. The analysis leverages a compact training dataset, encompassing just 20 deposits, with deposit and non-deposit locations chosen from known mineral occurrences. Fourteen predictor maps are constructed based on the available data and the exploration model. The findings indicate that RF is more stable and robust than SVM, regardless of the kernel function implemented. While all SVM models outperformed the RF model in terms of classification capability on the training dataset achieving an accuracy exceeding 89% versus 78% for the RF model, the success rate curves suggest superior predictive abilities of RF over SVM models. This implies that the SVM models may be overfitting the training data due to the limited quantity of training deposits.

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