Author Archives: jamesdmccaffrey

Machine Learning with Natural Language

Natural language processing (NLP) is an important area of machine learning (ML). The Hello World problem for NLP is to take a set of text, such as a paragraph or entire book, and then create a model that when given … Continue reading

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Classification using k-NN Explained in 180 Seconds

I was hosting a technical talk recently and had a few minutes between sessions. So I challenged myself to give a blitz talk, in under three minutes, to explain k-NN classification. I started by saying that k-NN is one of … Continue reading

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NFL 2017 Week 7 Predictions – Zoltar Likes the Underdogs Again

Zoltar is my NFL football machine learning prediction system. Here are Zoltar’s predictions for week #7 of the 2017 NFL season: Zoltar: chiefs by 1 dog = raiders Vegas: chiefs by 2.5 Zoltar: bills by 4 dog = buccaneers Vegas: … Continue reading

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Getting MNIST Data into a Text File

The MNIST image data set is used as the “Hello World” example for image recognition in machine learning. The dataset has 60,000 training images to create a prediction system and 10,000 test images to evaluate the accuracy of the prediction … Continue reading

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The Radial Basis Function Kernel

The radial basis function (RBF) kernel is . . . Well, let me back up a moment. When I want to know what a machine learning concept is, I want to know four things. First, what it is in a … Continue reading

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Cross Entropy Error – General Case vs. Neural Classifier Case

Beginners to machine learning are sometimes confused by cross entropy error. Cross entropy error is also called log loss. In the general case, cross entropy error is a measure of error between a set of predicted probabilities and a set … Continue reading

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The Beta Distribution in Machine Learning

The beta distribution appears in several machine learning topics. Like many math distributions, the beta distribution is both simple (to use) and complex (to fully understand). The beta distribution is best explained by starting with an example. I’ll use Python … Continue reading

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