An incredibly useful tool in evaluating and comparing predictive models is the ROC curve.
Its name is indeed strange. ROC stands for Receiver Operating Characteristic. Its origin is from sonar back in the 1940s. ROCs were used to measure how well a sonar signal (e.g., from an enemy submarine) could be detected from noise (a school of fish).
ROC curves are a nice way to see how any predictive model can distinguish between the true positives and negatives. (more…)