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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Machine learning is a scientific discipline that is concerned with the design and development of algorithms that allow computers to evolve behaviors based on empirical data, such as from sensor data or databases. A major focus of machine learning research is to automatically learn to recognize complex patterns and make intelligent decisions based on data; the difficulty lies in the fact that the set of all possible behaviors given all possible inputs is too complex to describe generally in programming languages, so that in effect programs must automatically describe programs. Artificial intelligence is a closely related field, as also probability theory and statistics, data mining, pattern recognition, adaptive control, and theoretical computer science.



Applications for machine learning include machine perception, computer vision, natural language processing, syntactic pattern recognition, search engines, medical diagnosis, bioinformatics, brain-machine interfaces and cheminformatics, detecting credit card fraud, stock market analysis, classifying DNA sequences, speech and handwriting recognition, object recognition in computer vision, game playing, software engineering, adaptive websites and robot locomotion.

Human interaction

Some machine learning systems attempt to eliminate the need for human intuition in data analysis, while others adopt a collaborative approach between human and machine. Human intuition cannot, however, be entirely eliminated, since the system's designer must specify how the data is to be represented and what mechanisms will be used to search for a characterization of the data. Machine learning can be viewed as an attempt to automate parts of the scientific method.[citation needed]

Some statistical machine learning researchers create methods within the framework of Bayesian statistics.

Algorithm types

Machine learning algorithms are organized into a taxonomy, based on the desired outcome of the algorithm.

Common algorithm types include:

  • Supervised learning - Generates a function that maps inputs to desired outputs. For example, in a classification problem, the learner approximates a function mapping a vector into classes by looking at input-output examples of the function.
  • Unsupervised learning - Models a set of inputs: like clustering
  • Semi-supervised learning - Combines both labeled and unlabeled examples to generate an appropriate function or classifier.
  • Reinforcement learning - Learns how to act given an observation of the world. Every action has some impact in the environment, and the environment provides feedback in the form of rewards that guides the learning algorithm.
  • Transduction - Tries to predict new outputs based on training inputs, training outputs, and test inputs.
  • Learning to learn - Learns its own inductive bias based on previous experience.


The computational analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a branch of theoretical computer science known as computational learning theory. Because training sets are finite and the future is uncertain, learning theory usually does not yield absolute guarantees of the performance of algorithms. Instead, probabilistic bounds on the performance are quite common.

In addition to performance bounds, computational learning theorists study the time complexity and feasibility of learning. In computational learning theory, a computation is considered feasible if it can be done in polynomial time. There are two kinds of time complexity results. Positive results show that a certain class of functions can be learned in polynomial time. Negative results show that certain classes cannot be learned in polynomial time.

There are many similarities between Machine Learning theory and Statistics, although they use different terms.

See also

Further reading

  • Sergios Theodoridis, Konstantinos Koutroumbas (2009) "Pattern Recognition" , 4th Edition, Academic Press, ISBN: 978-1-59749-272-0.
  • Ethem Alpaydın (2004) Introduction to Machine Learning (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning), MIT Press, ISBN 0262012111
  • Christopher M. Bishop (2006) Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Springer ISBN 0-387-31073-8.
  • Bing Liu (2007), Web Data Mining: Exploring Hyperlinks, Contents and Usage Data. Springer, ISBN 3540378812
  • Toby Segaran, Programming Collective Intelligence, O'Reilly ISBN 0-596-52932-5
  • Ray Solomonoff, "An Inductive Inference Machine" A privately circulated report from the 1956 Dartmouth Summer Research Conference on AI.
  • Ray Solomonoff, An Inductive Inference Machine, IRE Convention Record, Section on Information Theory, Part 2, pp., 56-62, 1957.
  • Ryszard S. Michalski, Jaime G. Carbonell, Tom M. Mitchell (1983), Machine Learning: An Artificial Intelligence Approach, Tioga Publishing Company, ISBN 0-935382-05-4.
  • Ryszard S. Michalski, Jaime G. Carbonell, Tom M. Mitchell (1986), Machine Learning: An Artificial Intelligence Approach, Volume II, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 0-934613-00-1.
  • Yves Kodratoff, Ryszard S. Michalski (1990), Machine Learning: An Artificial Intelligence Approach, Volume III, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 1-55860-119-8.
  • Ryszard S. Michalski, George Tecuci (1994), Machine Learning: A Multistrategy Approach, Volume IV, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 1-55860-251-8.
  • Bhagat, P. M. (2005). Pattern Recognition in Industry, Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044538-1.
  • Bishop, C. M. (1995). Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-853864-2.
  • Richard O. Duda, Peter E. Hart, David G. Stork (2001) Pattern classification (2nd edition), Wiley, New York, ISBN 0-471-05669-3.
  • Huang T.-M., Kecman V., Kopriva I. (2006), Kernel Based Algorithms for Mining Huge Data Sets, Supervised, Semi-supervised, and Unsupervised Learning, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 260 pp. 96 illus., Hardcover, ISBN 3-540-31681-7.
  • KECMAN Vojislav (2001), Learning and Soft Computing, Support Vector Machines, Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic Models, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 608 pp., 268 illus., ISBN 0-262-11255-8.
  • MacKay, D. J. C. (2003). Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64298-1.
  • Mitchell, T. (1997). Machine Learning, McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-042807-7.
  • Ian H. Witten and Eibe Frank Data Mining: Practical machine learning tools and techniques Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 0-12-088407-0.
  • Sholom Weiss and Casimir Kulikowski (1991). Computer Systems That Learn, Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 1-55860-065-5.
  • Mierswa, Ingo and Wurst, Michael and Klinkenberg, Ralf and Scholz, Martin and Euler, Timm: YALE: Rapid Prototyping for Complex Data Mining Tasks, in Proceedings of the 12th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-06), 2006.
  • Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman (2001). The Elements of Statistical Learning, Springer. ISBN 0387952845.
  • Vladimir Vapnik (1998). Statistical Learning Theory. Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0471030031.

External links



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