An Introduction To Machine Learning

Are you curious about the buzz surrounding machine learning and want to learn more about it? Do you want to know how it can be used to solve complex problems in various fields, such as healthcare, finance, and agriculture? Look no further! In this blog, we will introduce you to the basics of machine learning and provide you with a solid foundation to build upon.

Haven’t READ Previous Article ? Getting started with Machine Learning

Definition of Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn and make decisions without being explicitly programmed. It involves the use of algorithms and statistical models to analyze and learn from data, allowing the machine to improve its performance over time.

In simpler terms, imagine you want to teach a computer to recognize dogs in pictures. You can do this by providing the machine with a large dataset of pictures of dogs and labeling them as such. The machine will then analyze these pictures and identify common features that distinguish dogs from other objects. Once the machine has learned these features, it can apply them to new pictures and accurately classify them as either containing a dog or not.

Classification of Machine Learning

There are two main categories of machine learning: supervised learning and unsupervised learning.

Supervised Learning

In supervised learning, the machine is provided with labeled training data, meaning that the correct output is provided along with the input data. The machine uses this labeled data to learn the relationship between the input and the output, and is then able to apply this knowledge to classify new data. An example of supervised learning is the dog recognition task mentioned earlier.

Suppose we have a dataset that contains information about patients visiting a clinic. The data consists of the gender and age of each patient, as well as a label indicating whether the patient is “healthy” or “sick”. This dataset can be used to train a machine learning model to predict the health status of new patients based on their gender and age.

To train the model, we first need to split the dataset into a training set and a testing set. The training set is used to teach the model the relationship between the input data (gender and age) and the output data (health status). The testing set is used to evaluate the model’s performance and ensure that it can accurately predict the health status of new patients.

Once the model has been trained, we can use it to predict the health status of a new patient by providing it with the patient’s gender and age as input. The model will then use the function it learned from the training data to classify the patient as either “healthy” or “sick”.

genderagelabel
M48sick
M67sick
F53healthy
M49sick
F32healthy
M34healthy
M21healthy

Unsupervised Learning

On the other hand, in unsupervised learning, the machine is not provided with labeled data and must find patterns and relationships in the data on its own. One common example of unsupervised learning is clustering, where the machine groups data points into clusters based on their similarities.

 Consider the following data regarding patients entering a clinic. The data consists of the gender and age of the patients –

gender age
M48
M67
F53
M49
F34
M21

Unsupervised learning is a type of machine learning in which the machine is not provided with labeled data and must find patterns and relationships in the data on its own. This process is similar to how humans learn by observing and identifying similarities between objects or events.

One common application of unsupervised learning is in recommendation systems, which are often used in marketing automation. These systems analyze the behavior of users and identify patterns in their interests and preferences. Based on these patterns, the system can recommend products or services that are likely to be of interest to the user.

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is a type of machine learning in which an agent learns through trial and error to take actions that maximize its rewards in a given environment. Unlike supervised and unsupervised learning, the agent is not provided with explicit instructions or labels, but must discover which actions lead to the best outcomes through experimentation.

One way to understand this concept is to think about teaching a dog a new trick. We cannot simply tell the dog what to do or what not to do; instead, we must reward or punish it based on its behavior. Over time, the dog will learn which actions lead to positive reinforcement and will repeat those behaviors in the future.

agent environment reinforcement learning img

This process is similar to how reinforcement learning algorithms operate. For example, an agent learning to play a video game may initially be clumsy and unskilled, but as it tries different actions and receives rewards or punishments based on its performance, it will gradually improve and become more skilled.

In summary, reinforcement learning involves training an agent to take actions that maximize its rewards in a given environment through trial and error. The agent learns through observation and feedback, rather than being provided with explicit instructions or labels.

 Semi-supervised learning

Semi-supervised learning is a type of machine learning that involves training a model on a dataset that contains both labeled and unlabeled data. This approach combines the benefits of both supervised and unsupervised learning, allowing the model to learn from both the explicit guidance provided by labeled data and the inherent patterns and relationships found in the unlabeled data.

In semi-supervised learning, the training set contains some (often many) of the target outputs missing, which means that the model must use both the labeled and unlabeled data to make predictions. This is in contrast to supervised learning, where the model is provided with the complete set of labeled training data, and unsupervised learning, where the model is not provided with any labeled data and must find patterns in the data on its own.

semi supervised learning img

There is a special case of semi-supervised learning known as transduction, where the entire set of problem instances is known at learning time, except that part of the targets are missing. In this case, the model must use the available data to make predictions about the missing targets.

Semi-supervised learning is particularly useful when there is a limited amount of labeled data available, but a large amount of unlabeled data that can be used to supplement the training process. By leveraging both types of data, the model can learn more effectively and make more accurate predictions.

In summary, semi-supervised learning is a machine learning approach that combines small amounts of labeled data with a large amount of unlabeled data during training. This approach falls between supervised and unsupervised learning and is useful when there is a limited amount of labeled data available.

Categorizing based on Required Output

Based on the required output, machine learning can also be classified into three categories: regression, classification, and clustering.

Regression Algorithms

Regression algorithms are used when the output is a continuous value, such as a price or a probability. An example of regression is predicting the price of a house based on its features, such as size, location, and number of bedrooms.

Classification Algorithms

Classification algorithms, as we saw earlier, are used when the output is a discrete value, such as a label or a class. An example of classification is predicting whether an email is spam or not spam.

classification vs regression img

Clustering Algorithms

Clustering algorithms, as mentioned in the unsupervised learning section, are used to group data points into clusters based on their similarities. An example of clustering is grouping customers into different segments based on their purchasing behavior.

clustering algorithms image

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