A genetic algorithm (GA) for variable selection in partial least squares (PLS) regression that incorporates adaptive boosting to identify informative wavelengths in near-infrared (NIR) spectra has been developed. Three studies demonstrating the advantages of incorporating an adaptive boosting routine into a GA that employs the root mean square error of calibration as its fitness function are highlighted: (1) prediction of hydroxyl number of terpolymers from NIR diffuse reflectance spectra; (2) calibration of acetone from NIR transmission spectra of mixtures of water, acetone, t-butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol; and (3) determination of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in drug tablets from NIR diffuse reflectance spectra. The performance of the GA with adaptive boosting to select wavelengths was compared with one without adaptive boosting. For all three NIR data sets, variable selected PLS models developed by a GA with adaptive boosting performed better. Analysis of the wavelengths selected by the GA with adaptive boosting also demonstrate that chemical information indicative of the analyte was captured by the selected wavelengths.
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