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Machine Learning is Not Magic: Linear Regression for Mere Mortals

This piece is the latest in a series, called “Machine Learning Is Not Magic,” covering how to get started in machine learning, using familiar tools such as Excel, Python, Jupyter Notebooks and cloud services from Azure and Amazon Web Services. Check back here each Friday for future installments. 

In the previous part of this series, we attempted to solve a problem based on a few assumptions drawn from an existing dataset. We will now validate those assumptions by testing it in Microsoft Excel. It’s also time for me to map the concepts we discussed so far with the official Machine Learning terminology.

Tom M. Mitchell, a renowned American computer scientist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is widely quoted for his definition of Machine Learning: “A computer program is said to learn from experience E with respect to some class of tasks T and performance measure P if its performance at tasks in T, as measured by P, improves with experience E.”

Let’s try to translate the above definition. Machine learning is the ability to build logic based on existing data without the need of explicit programming. Based on certain algorithms, machine learning programs can derive their logic without a programmer explicitly writing the code.

ML algorithms can deal with data that has a reasonably well-defined structure. Our Stack Overflow salary dataset has multiple columns such as category, location, experience, and salary. Though it is a smaller dataset, almost all the rows have complete data from which the algorithms can draw inferences.

Read the entire article at The New Stack

Janakiram MSV is an analyst, advisor, and architect. Follow him on Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Janakiram MSV heads the Cloud Infrastructure Services at Aditi Technologies. He was the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. In his current role, he leads a highly talented engineering team that focuses on migrating and managing applications deployed on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Janakiram is an industry analyst with deep understanding of Cloud services. Through his speaking, writing and analysis, he helps businesses take advantage of the emerging technologies. He leverages his experience of engaging with the industry in developing informative and practical research, analysis and authoritative content to inform, influence and guide decision makers. He analyzes market trends, new products / features, announcements, industry happenings and the impact of executive transitions.
Janakiram is one of the first few Microsoft Certified Professionals on Windows Azure in India. Demystifying The Cloud, an eBook authored by Janakiram is downloaded more than 100,000 times within the first few months. He is the Chief Editor of a popular portal on Cloud called www.CloudStory.in that covers the latest trends in Cloud Computing. Janakiram is an analyst with the GigaOM Pro analyst network where he analyzes the Cloud Services landscape. He is a guest faculty at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) where he teaches Big Data and Cloud Computing to students enrolled for the Masters course. As a passionate speaker, he has chaired the Cloud Computing track at premier events in India.
He has been the keynote speaker at many premier conferences, and his seminars are attended by thousands of architects, developers and IT professionals. His sessions are rated among the best in every conference he participates.
Janakiram has worked at the world-class product companies including Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services and Alcatel-Lucent. Joining as the first employee of Amazon Web Services in India, he was the AWS Technology Evangelist. Prior to that, Janakiram spent 10 years at Microsoft Corporation where he was involved in selling, marketing and evangelizing the Microsoft Application Platform and Tools.