The simplest solutions are usually the most powerful ones, and Naïve Bayes is a good example of that. Despite the advances in Machine Learning in the last years, it has proven to not only be simple but also fast, accurate, and reliable. It has been successfully used for many purposes, but it works particularly well with natural language processing (NLP) problems. Naïve Bayes is a probabilistic machine learning algorithm based on the Bayes Theorem, used in a wide variety of classification tasks. In this article, we will understand the Naïve Bayes algorithm and all essential concepts so that there is no room for doubts in understanding.
Classification is a predictive modeling problem that involves assigning a label to a given input data sample. The problem of classification predictive modeling can be framed as calculating the conditional probability of a class label given a data sample. Bayes Theorem provides a principled way for calculating this conditional probability, although in practice requires an enormous number of samples (very large-sized dataset) and is computationally expensive. Instead, the calculation of Bayes Theorem can be simplified by making some assumptions, such as each input variable is independent of all other input variables. Although a dramatic and unrealistic assumption, this has the effect of making the calculations of the conditional probability tractable and results in an effective classification model referred to as Naive Bayes.
Naive Bayes classifiers, a family of classifiers that are based on the popular Bayes' probability theorem, are known for creating simple yet well performing models, especially in the fields of document classification and disease prediction. In this first part of a series, we will take a look at the theory of naive Bayes classifiers and introduce the basic concepts of text classification. In following articles, we will implement those concepts to train a naive Bayes spam filter and apply naive Bayes to song classification based on lyrics. Starting more than half a century ago, scientists became very serious about addressing the question: "Can we build a model that learns from available data and automatically makes the right decisions and predictions?" Looking back, this sounds almost like a rhetoric question, and the answer can be found in numerous applications that are emerging from the fields of pattern classification, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Data from various sensoring devices combined with powerful learning algorithms and domain knowledge led to many great inventions that we now take for granted in our everyday life: Internet queries via search engines like Google, text recognition at the post office, barcode scanners at the supermarket, the diagnosis of diseases, speech recognition by Siri or Google Now on our mobile phone, just to name a few.
Now that we have a model, we can do some predicting. We do this by feeding our test data into our model and comparing the predicted party affiliations with the known ones. The latter is done via the wonderfully named confusion matrix – a table in which true and predicted values for each of the predicted classes are displayed in a matrix format.
In this article, we will discuss the mathematical intuition behind Naive Bayes Classifiers, and we'll also see how to implement this on Python. This model is easy to build and is mostly used for large datasets. It is a probabilistic machine learning model that is used for classification problems. The core of the classifier depends on the Bayes theorem with an assumption of independence among predictors. That means changing the value of a feature doesn't change the value of another feature.