The naivebayes package provides an efficient implementation of the popular Naïve Bayes classifier in R. It was developed and is now maintained based on three principles: it should be efficient, user friendly and written in Base R. The last implies no dependencies, however, it neither denies nor interferes with being efficient as many functions from the Base R distribution use highly efficient routines programmed in lower level languages, such as C or FORTRAN. In fact, the naivebayes package utilizes only such functions for resource-intensive calculations.

The general function naive_bayes() detects the class of each feature in the dataset and, depending on the user choices, assumes possibly different distribution for each feature. It currently supports following class conditional distributions:

  • categorical distribution for discrete features
  • Poisson distribution for non-negative integers
  • Gaussian distribution for continuous features
  • non-parametrically estimated densities via Kernel Density Estimation for continuous features

In addition to that specialized functions are available which implement:

They are implemented based on the linear algebra operations which makes them efficient on the dense matrices. In close future sparse matrices will be supported in order to boost the performance on the sparse data. Also few helper functions are provided that are supposed to improve the user experience. The general naive_bayes() function is also available through the excellent Caret package.


Just like many other R packages, naivebayes can be installed from the CRAN repository by simply executing in the console the following line: