Amazon Machine Learning
Developer Guide (Version Latest)


For regression tasks, the typical accuracy metrics are root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). These metrics measure the distance between the predicted numeric target and the actual numeric answer (ground truth). In Amazon ML, the RMSE metric is used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of a regression model.

Figure 3: Distribution of residuals for a Regression model

It is common practice to review the residuals for regression problems. A residual for an observation in the evaluation data is the difference between the true target and the predicted target. Residuals represent the portion of the target that the model is unable to predict. A positive residual indicates that the model is underestimating the target (the actual target is larger than the predicted target). A negative residual indicates an overestimation (the actual target is smaller than the predicted target). The histogram of the residuals on the evaluation data when distributed in a bell shape and centered at zero indicates that the model makes mistakes in a random manner and does not systematically over or under predict any particular range of target values. If the residuals do not form a zero-centered bell shape, there is some structure in the model’s prediction error. Adding more variables to the model might help the model capture the pattern that is not captured by the current model.