Collaborating Authors

Why your machine-learning team needs better feature-engineering skills


The skill of feature engineering -- crafting data features optimized for machine learning -- is as old as data science itself. But it's a skill I've noticed is becoming more and more neglected. The high demand for machine learning has produced a large pool of data scientists who have developed expertise in tools and algorithms but lack the experience and industry-specific domain knowledge that feature engineering requires. And they are trying to compensate for that with better tools and algorithms. However, algorithms are now a commodity and don't generate corporate IP.

What is the Difference Between Deep Learning and "Regular" Machine Learning?


That's an interesting question, and I try to answer this is a very general way. The tl;dr version of this is: Deep learning is essentially a set of techniques that help we to parameterize deep neural network structures, neural networks with many, many layers and parameters. And if we are interested, a more concrete example: Let's start with multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs)... On a tangent: The term "perceptron" in MLPs may be a bit confusing since we don't really want only linear neurons in our network. Using MLPs, we want to learn complex functions to solve non-linear problems. Thus, our network is conventionally composed of one or multiple "hidden" layers that connect the input and output layer.

Picasso: Model-free Feature Visualization Artificial Intelligence

Today, Machine Learning (ML) applications can have access to tens of thousands of features. With such feature sets, efficiently browsing and curating subsets of most relevant features is a challenge. In this paper, we present a novel approach to visualize up to several thousands of features in a single image. The image not only shows information on individual features, but also expresses feature interactions via the relative positioning of features.

Exploratory Machine Learning with Unknown Unknowns Artificial Intelligence

In conventional supervised learning, a training dataset is given with ground-truth labels from a known label set, and the learned model will classify unseen instances to the known labels. In this paper, we study a new problem setting in which there are unknown classes in the training dataset misperceived as other labels, and thus their existence appears unknown from the given supervision. We attribute the unknown unknowns to the fact that the training dataset is badly advised by the incompletely perceived label space due to the insufficient feature information. To this end, we propose the exploratory machine learning, which examines and investigates the training dataset by actively augmenting the feature space to discover potentially unknown labels. Our approach consists of three ingredients including rejection model, feature acquisition, and model cascade. The effectiveness is validated on both synthetic and real datasets.

Feature Engineering vs Feature Selection


All machine learning workflows depend on feature engineering and feature selection. However, they are often erroneously equated by the data science and machine learning communities. Although they share some overlap, these two ideas have different objectives.