A Few Useful Things to Know about Machine Learning

BY Pedro Domingos
Department of Computer Science and Engineering University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2350, U.S.A. pedrod@cs.washington.edu

Machine learning algorithms can figure out how to perform important tasks by generalizing from examples. This is of- ten feasible and cost-effective where manual programming is not. As more data becomes available, more ambitious problems can be tackled. As a result, machine learning is widely used in computer science and other fields. However, developing successful machine learning applications requires a substantial amount of “black art” that is hard to find in textbooks. This article summarizes twelve key lessons that machine learning researchers and practitioners have learned. These include pitfalls to avoid, important issues to focus on, and answers to common questions.


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