Chapter 7. Black Box Methods – Neural Networks and Support Vector Machines

The late science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This chapter covers a pair of machine learning methods that may, likewise, appear at first glance to be magic. As two of the most powerful machine learning algorithms, they are applied to tasks across many domains. However, their inner workings can be difficult to understand.

In engineering, these are referred to as black box processes because the mechanism that transforms the input into the output is obfuscated by a figurative box. The reasons for the opacity can vary; for instance, black box closed source software intentionally conceals ...

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