The DropDuplicateFeatures() finds and removes duplicated variables from a dataframe. Duplicated features are identical features, regardless of the variable or column name. If they show the same values for every observation, then they are considered duplicated.

The transformer will automatically evaluate all variables, or alternatively, you can pass a list with the variables you wish to have examined. And it works with numerical and categorical features.


Let’s see how to use DropDuplicateFeatures() in an example with the Titanic dataset. These dataset does not have duplicated features, so we will add a few manually:

import pandas as pd
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from feature_engine.datasets import load_titanic
from feature_engine.selection import DropDuplicateFeatures

data = load_titanic(

# Lets duplicate some columns
data = pd.concat([data, data[['sex', 'age', 'sibsp']]], axis=1)
data.columns = ['pclass', 'survived', 'sex', 'age',
                'sibsp', 'parch', 'fare','cabin', 'embarked',
                'sex_dup', 'age_dup', 'sibsp_dup']

# Separate into train and test sets
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(
    data.drop(['survived'], axis=1),


Below we see the resulting data:

      pclass     sex        age  sibsp  parch     fare    cabin embarked  \
501        2  female  13.000000      0      1  19.5000  Missing        S
588        2  female   4.000000      1      1  23.0000  Missing        S
402        2  female  30.000000      1      0  13.8583  Missing        C
1193       3    male  29.881135      0      0   7.7250  Missing        Q
686        3  female  22.000000      0      0   7.7250  Missing        Q

     sex_dup    age_dup  sibsp_dup
501   female  13.000000          0
588   female   4.000000          1
402   female  30.000000          1
1193    male  29.881135          0
686   female  22.000000          0

Now, we set up DropDuplicateFeatures() to find the duplications:

transformer = DropDuplicateFeatures()

With fit() the transformer finds the duplicated features:


The features that are duplicated and will be removed are stored by the transformer:

{'age_dup', 'sex_dup', 'sibsp_dup'}

With transform() we remove the duplicated variables:

train_t = transformer.transform(X_train)
test_t = transformer.transform(X_test)

If we examine the variable names of the transformed dataset, we see that the duplicated features are not present:

Index(['pclass', 'sex', 'age', 'sibsp', 'parch', 'fare', 'cabin', 'embarked'], dtype='object')

And the transformer also stores the groups of duplicated features, which could be useful if we have groups where more than 2 features are identical.

[{'sex', 'sex_dup'}, {'age', 'age_dup'}, {'sibsp', 'sibsp_dup'}]

More details#

In this Kaggle kernel we use DropDuplicateFeatures() together with other feature selection algorithms:

All notebooks can be found in a dedicated repository.