# Questions tagged [machine-learning]

Machine learning algorithms build a model of the training data. The term "machine learning" is vaguely defined; it includes what is also called statistical learning, reinforcement learning, unsupervised learning, etc. ALWAYS ADD A MORE SPECIFIC TAG.

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### Objective function, cost function, loss function: are they the same thing?

In machine learning, people talk about objective function, cost function, loss function. Are they just different names of the same thing? When to use them? If they are not always refer to the same ...
57k views

### How to intuitively explain what a kernel is?

Many machine learning classifiers (e.g. support vector machines) allow one to specify a kernel. What would be an intuitive way of explaining what a kernel is? One aspect I have been thinking of is ...
90k views

### tanh activation function vs sigmoid activation function

The tanh activation function is: $$tanh \left( x \right) = 2 \cdot \sigma \left( 2 x \right) - 1$$ Where $\sigma(x)$, the sigmoid function, is defined as: $$\sigma(x) = \frac{e^x}{1 + e^x}$$. ...
36k views

### What makes the Gaussian kernel so magical for PCA, and also in general?

I was reading about kernel PCA (1, 2, 3) with Gaussian and polynomial kernels. How does the Gaussian kernel separate seemingly any sort of nonlinear data exceptionally well? Please give an intuitive ...
40k views

### Is random forest a boosting algorithm?

Short definition of boosting: Can a set of weak learners create a single strong learner? A weak learner is defined to be a classifier which is only slightly correlated with the true ...
25k views

### Relative variable importance for Boosting

I'm looking for an explanation of how relative variable importance is computed in Gradient Boosted Trees that is not overly general/simplistic like: The measures are based on the number of times a ...
32k views

### Best books for an introduction to statistical data analysis?

I bought this book: How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business and Head First Data Analysis: A Learner's Guide to Big Numbers, Statistics, and Good Decisions What ...
59k views

### Performance metrics to evaluate unsupervised learning

With respect to the unsupervised learning (like clustering), are there any metrics to evaluate performance?
25k views

### How to statistically compare the performance of machine learning classifiers?

Based on estimated classification accuracy, I want to test whether one classifier is statistically better on a base set than another classifier . For each classifier, I select a training and testing ...
6k views

### Cross Validation (error generalization) after model selection

Note: Case is n>>p I am reading Elements of Statistical Learning and there are various mentions about the "right" way to do cross validation( e.g. page 60, page 245). Specifically, my question is how ...
17k views

### Perform K-means (or its close kin) clustering with only a distance matrix, not points-by-features data

I want to perform K-means clustering on objects I have, but the objects aren't described as points in space, i.e. by objects x features dataset. However, I am able ...
13k views

### Feature map for the Gaussian kernel

In SVM, the Gaussian kernel is defined as: $$K(x,y)=\exp\left({-\frac{\|x-y\|_2^2}{2\sigma^2}}\right)=\phi(x)^T\phi(y)$$ where $x, y\in \mathbb{R^n}$. I do not know the explicit equation of $\phi$. I ...
27k views

### 10-fold Cross-validation vs leave-one-out cross-validation

I'm doing nested cross-validation. I have read that leave-one-out cross-validation can be biased (don't remember why). Is it better to use 10-fold cross-validation or leave-one-out cross-validation ...
6k views

### Use of nested cross-validation

Scikit Learn's page on Model Selection mentions the use of nested cross-validation: ...
6k views

### Including Interaction Terms in Random Forest

Suppose we have a response Y and predictors X1,....,Xn. If we were to try to fit Y via a linear model of X1,....,Xn, and it just so happened that the true relationship between Y and X1,...,Xn wasn't ...
6k views

### Is KNN a discriminative learning algorithm?

It seems that KNN is a discriminative learning algorithm but I can't seem to find any online sources confirming this. Is KNN a discriminative learning algorithm?
16k views

### Comparing two classifier accuracy results for statistical significance with t-test

I want to compare the accuracy of two classifiers for statistical significance. Both classifiers are run on the same data set. This leads me to believe I should be using a one sample t-test from what ...
7k views

### What is the difference between 'regular' linear regression and deep learning linear regression?

I want to know the difference between linear regression in a regular machine learning analysis and linear regression in "deep learning" setting. What algorithms are used for linear regression in deep ...
3k views

### Why AUC =1 even classifier has misclassified half of the samples?

I am using a classifier which returns probabilities. To calculate AUC, I am using pROC R-package. The output probabilities from classifier are: ...
2k views

### Expected best performance possible on a data set

Say I have a simple machine learning problem like a classification. With some benchmarks in vision or audio recognition, I, as a human, are a very good classifier. I therefore have an intuition on how ...
2k views

### How to bootstrap panel data?

I'm fitting some machine learning algorithms (e.g. SVM) on my panel data. It's taking too long for my entire dataset, so I'm considering generating smaller samples from bootstrapping then fit the SVM ...
3k views

### How does gradient boosting calculate probability estimates?

I have been trying to understand gradient boosting reading various blogs, websites and trying to find my answer by looking through for example the XGBoost source code. However, I cannot seem to find ...
4k views

### Decision boundaries and Gaussian density functions

This is for my hw, and if anyone can solve the first part of the question it will be great. Here is the question: Assume a two-class problem with equal a priori class probabilities and Gaussian class-...
2k views

### Why is my high degree polynomial regression model suddenly unfit for the data?

I'm building a ridge regression model in scikit-learn and trying to find the optimal degree polynomial to use. The data I'm working with is a fairly predictable time series of hourly traffic volumes, ...
30k views

### Explain “Curse of dimensionality” to a child

I heard many times about curse of dimensionality, but somehow I'm still unable to grasp the idea, it's all foggy. Can anyone explain this in the most intuitive way, as you would explain it to a child,...
87k views

### Validation Error less than training error?

I found two questions here and here about this issue but there is no obvious answer or explanation yet.I enforce the same problem where the validation error is less than training error in my ...
44k views

### Having a job in data-mining without a PhD

I've been very interested in data-mining and machine-learning for a while, partly because I majored in that area at school, but also because I am truly much more excited trying to solve problems that ...
30k views

### How does rectilinear activation function solve the vanishing gradient problem in neural networks?

I found rectified linear unit (ReLU) praised at several places as a solution to the vanishing gradient problem for neural networks. That is, one uses max(0,x) as activation function. When the ...
19k views

### How to get started with neural networks

I'm completely new to neural networks but highly interested in understanding them. However it's not easy at all to get started. Could anyone recommend a good book or any other kind of resource? Is ...
39k views

### What math subjects would you suggest to prepare for data mining and machine learning?

I'm trying to put together a self-directed math curriculum to prepare for learning data mining and machine learning. This is motivated by starting Andrew Ng's machine learning class on Coursera and ...
24k views

### Why downsample?

Suppose I want to learn a classifier that predicts if an email is spam. And suppose only 1% of emails are spam. The easiest thing to do would be to learn the trivial classifier that says none of the ...
65k views

### In Naive Bayes, why bother with Laplace smoothing when we have unknown words in the test set?

I was reading over Naive Bayes Classification today. I read, under the heading of Parameter Estimation with add 1 smoothing: Let $c$ refer to a class (such as Positive or Negative), and let $w$ ...
26k views

### Is a strong background in maths a total requisite for ML?

I'm starting to want to advance my own skillset and I've always been fascinated by machine learning. However, six years ago instead of pursuing this I decided to take a completely unrelated degree to ...
12k views

### Gradient Boosting for Linear Regression - why does it not work?

While learning about Gradient Boosting, I haven't heard about any constraints regarding the properties of a "weak classifier" that the method uses to build and ensemble model. However, I could not ...
6k views

### Cross-validation including training, validation, and testing. Why do we need three subsets?

I have a question regarding the Cross-validation process. I am in the middle of a course of the Machine Learning on the Cursera. One of the topic is about the Cross-validation. I found it slightly ...
15k views

### Boosting: why is the learning rate called a regularization parameter?

The learning rate parameter ($\nu \in [0,1]$) in Gradient Boosting shrinks the contribution of each new base model -typically a shallow tree- that is added in the series. It was shown to dramatically ...
12k views

### Weighting more recent data in Random Forest model

I'm training a classification model with Random Forest to discriminate between 6 categories. My transactional data has approximately 60k+ observations and 35 variables. Here's an example of how it ...
17k views

### When to avoid Random Forest?

Random forests are well known to perform fairly well on a variety of tasks and have been referred to as the leatherman of learning methods. Are there any types of problems or specific conditions in ...
2k views

### Justifying and choosing a proper scoring rule

Most resources on proper scoring rules mention a number of different scoring rules like log-loss, Brier score or spherical scoring. However, they often don't give much guidance on the differences ...
3k views

### Supervised learning with “rare” events, when rarity is due to the large number of counter-factual events

Suppose you get to observe "matches" between buyers and sellers in a market. You also get to observe characteristics of both buyers and sellers which you would like to use to predict future matches &...
1k views

### Good examples/books/resources to learn about applied machine learning (not just ML itself)

I've taken an ML course previously, but now that I am working with ML related projects at my job, I am struggling quite a bit to actually apply it. I'm sure the stuff I'm doing has been researched/...
23k views

### Neural Network: For Binary Classification use 1 or 2 output neurons?

Assume I want to do binary classification (something belongs to class A or class B). There are some possibilities to do this in the output layer of a neural network: Use 1 output node. Output 0 (<...
9k views

### For linear classifiers, do larger coefficients imply more important features?

I'm a software engineer working on machine learning. From my understanding, linear regression (such as OLS) and linear classification (such as logistic regression and SVM) make a prediction based on ...
1k views

### Why can't a single ReLU learn a ReLU?

As a follow-up to My neural network can't even learn Euclidean distance I simplified even more and tried to train a single ReLU (with random weight) to a single ReLU. This is the simplest network ...
16k views

### Best way to perform multiclass SVM

I know that the SVM is a binary classifier. I would like to extend it to multi-class SVM. Which is the best, and maybe the easiest, way to perform it? code: in MATLAB ...
6k views

### Perform linear regression, but force solution to go through some particular data points

I know how to perform a linear regression on a set of points. That is, I know how to fit a polynomial of my choice, to a given data set, (in the LSE sense). However, what I do not know, is how to ...
5k views

### What is “baseline” in precision recall curve

I'm trying to understand precision recall curve, I understand what precision and recall are but the thing I don't understand is the "baseline" value. I was reading this link https://classeval....
12k views

### Clustering procedure where each cluster has an equal number of points?

I have some points $X=\{x_1,...,x_n\}$ in $R^p$, and I want to cluster the points so that: Each cluster contains an equal number of elements of $X$. (Assume that the number of clusters divides $n$.) ...
In reinforcement learning, linear function approximation is often used when large state spaces are present. (When look up tables become unfeasible.) The form of the $Q-$value with linear function ...