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SpamAssassin by Alistair McDonald

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Chapter 9. Bayesian Filtering

The Bayesian filter in SpamAssassin is one of the most effective techniques for filtering spam. Although Bayesian statistical analysis is a branch of mathematics, one doesn't necessarily need to understand the mathematics to use SpamAssassin's Bayesian filter.

Bayesian analysis involves teaching a system that a particular input gives a particular result. For Spam filtering, this teaching is repeated, many times over, with many spam and ham emails. Once this is finished, a Bayesian system can be presented with a new email and will give a probability of the result being spam. For best results, teaching should be a constant process.

To filter spam emails, the system is taught both ham and spam emails, until the filter ...

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