Chapter 3

Descending the Right Curve


check Understanding how machine learning works under the hood

check Recognizing the different parts of a learning process

check Defining the most common error functions

check Deciding which error function is best for your problem

check Glancing at the steps in machine learning optimization when using gradient descent

check Distinguishing between batch, mini-batch, and online learning

“Those who only think in straight lines cannot see around a curve.”


Machine learning may appear as a kind of magic trick to a newcomer to the discipline — something to expect from any application of advanced scientific discovery, as Arthur C. Clarke, the futurist and author of popular sci-fi stories (one of which became the landmark movie 2001: A Space Odyssey), expressed by his third law: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” However, ...

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