Machine Learning – Supervised, Unsupervised, & Reinforced Learning
Machine learning is a vast topic with so many intricacies that it can be confusing where to start. Machine learning is the force behind many of the algorithms that govern our lives like Amazon’s recommendation engine, fraud detection software, financial market tracking, and supply chain logistics management across the industry.
The fundamental function of all these algorithms is their ability to learn. Artificial intelligence and machine learning models can learn in many ways. Each of these learning methods can sound complicated if you don’t have in-depth technical knowledge, so let’s dive in for a simple explainer on different learning models in machine learning.
Supervised learning is the simplest to understand. You need to provide an input to which you already know what the output should be. What you don’t know is how you can reach this output, and this is what the model will study and base a prediction on.
Supervised learning involves the use of existing data to train models. The input data is training data. The algorithm works on this to produce a prediction. It can compare the output produced to the intended output and find errors that is modified as needed.
Unsupervised learning involves the use of unlabelled data to train the machine to identify patterns and cluster the data. It is best for situations where you have complex data and are not sure what your desired outcome is. This method of learning gives you a better understanding of the inner relationships within your data that you may process further.
The two most important types of unsupervised learning are clustering and association. Clustering involves the grouping of items based on similarities. Association learning is used when you want to find the link between data columns.
In reinforced learning, models are created to incorporate rewards and punishments. This encourages the model to chase rewards and minimize punishments, teaching it how to make decisions. The model learns to recognize relevant signals and decide the best action to maximize the reward. When a loop is completed, a reinforcement signal is needed to give feedback to the model on how to proceed further.
Reinforced learning is a sort of middle ground between supervised and unsupervised learning. The model is provided labeled data, like in supervised learning but the model is able to make judgments by itself, like unsupervised learning. Recommendation algorithms often function on reinforced learning.
Machine learning as a field is expanding by the day, with more accurate and complex algorithms. A solid understanding of the basic way these algorithms learn will help you get a better understanding of what you can achieve with AI and machine learning systems. Much like how we learn, an abundance of patience and effort we need to ensure your AI system learns well. Remember, it only gets better with every round of learning!