People often ask how we’ve been able to learn about and cover so many different and diverse topics in machine learning (using at least three different programming languages - Python, Matlab, and R) and generally achieve such prominence in the community, all this in a relatively short time. Today we finally give a definitive answer.
So you know the Bayes rule. How does it relate to machine learning? It can be quite difficult to grasp how the puzzle pieces fit together - we know it took us a while. This article is an introduction we wish we had back then.
We have a few ideas about what to write about next and are looking for your feedback. Vote in the poll at the bottom of this post.
Folks know that gradient-boosted trees generally perform better than a random forest, although there is a price for that: GBT have a few hyperparams to tune, while random forest is practically tuning-free. Let’s look at what the literature says about how these two methods compare.
Numerai is an attempt at a hedge fund crowd-sourcing stock market predictions. It presents a Kaggle-like competition, but with a few welcome twists.
TensorFlow is a new deep learning library from Google. Immediately after release it became the most starred deep learning package on GitHub. From the hype one could conclude that TensorFlow is the best thing since sliced bread. Is it?
Pandas is Python software for data manipulation. We show that some rather simple analytics allow us to attain a reasonable score in an interesting Kaggle competition. While doing that, we look at analogies between Pandas and SQL, a standard in relational databases.
Pedro Domingos’ new book, The Master Algorithm, is a readable overview of machine learning. The author discerns and describes five main schools of thought in the field: symbolists, connectionists, evolutionaries, Bayesians and analogizers. Here’a a piece about how Bayesians fit their models, that is, infer parameter values. Even though the context is Bayes nets, the described method is applicable to almost any model.
If you dig a little, there’s no shortage of recommendation methods. The question is, which model to choose. One of the primary decision factors here is quality of recommendations. You estimate it through validation, and validation for recommender systems might be tricky. There are a few things to consider, including formulation of the task, form of available feedback, and a metric to optimize for. We address these issues and present an example.
The last few weeks have been a time of neural nets generating stuff. By deep nets we mean recurrent and convolutional neural networks, while the stuff is text, music, images and even video.