How to Convert a Categorical Variable to Binary in Python?

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To convert a categorical variable to binary (dummy variables) in Python, you can use the pd.get_dummies() function from the pandas library. Here’s an example:

import pandas as pd

# Create a DataFrame with a categorical variable
data = {'Category': ['A', 'B', 'A', 'C', 'B']}
df = pd.DataFrame(data)

# Convert the categorical variable to binary
binary_df = pd.get_dummies(df['Category'])

# Concatenate the original DataFrame with the binary representation
df_binary = pd.concat([df, binary_df], axis=1)

# Print the result
print(df_binary)

In this example, we have a DataFrame df with a single categorical variable “Category”. The variable has four unique categories: ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’.

To convert the categorical variable to binary, we use the pd.get_dummies() function, passing the column containing the categorical variable (df['Category']) as an argument. This function will create a new DataFrame (binary_df) with binary representation for each category.

We then use the pd.concat() function to concatenate the original DataFrame df with the binary representation (binary_df) along the columns (axis=1).

Finally, we print the resulting DataFrame (df_binary) that contains the original categorical variable and its binary representation.

The output will be:

  Category  A  B  C
0        A  1  0  0
1        B  0  1  0
2        A  1  0  0
3        C  0  0  1
4        B  0  1  0

In this case, the original categorical variable “Category” is converted to binary representation using dummy variables. Each unique category is represented by a separate column with binary values: ‘A’ is represented by column ‘A’, ‘B’ by column ‘B’, and ‘C’ by column ‘C’.

You can adjust the column name and the DataFrame according to your specific use case.

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