Machine Learning

Supervised Machine Learning – Insider Scoop for labeled data

This is our first post in this sub series “Machine Learning Type” under master series “Machine Learning Explained“. We will only talk about supervised machine learning in details here.


Supervised Machine Learning is a type of system in which both input and desired output data are provided.

Supervised Machine Learning

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Machine learning algorithms “learns” from the observations. When exposed to more observations, the algorithm improves its predictive performance.


Machine Learning for Businesses

Supervised Learning is becoming a good friend for marketing business in particular. For example how much money will we make by spending more dollars on digital advertising? Or even making small predictions for stock markets i.e. What’s going to happen to the stock market tomorrow?

Machine learning techniques are accelerating almost on a daily basis with intentions to bring good values to the businesses of today. It is revolutionising the way we do our business and what should be done to improve upon. On high level we got three main type of Machine Learning types i.e. Supervised, Unsupervised and Reinforcement learning. Since this post is limited to supervised learning and what it is doing in business; so I will stick to it only for now.

Supervised Machine Learning

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Supervised Machine Learning -SML

Lets understand a bit about SML and find answers around what it does, how it does, and what it can do for our real life business.  Supervised learning through historic data set is able to hunt for correct answers, and the task of the algorithm is to find them in the new data.

How it’s powering our businesses to make sure we survive and get best out of what we do. Supervised Machine Learning is

  • Is a task of deducing function from labeled training data.
  • Making predictions based on evidence in the presence of uncertainty
  • Identifying patterns in given data with adaptive algorithms

Machine learning techniques are accelerating daily basis with intentions to bring good values to the businesses of today.

In supervised machine learning, each example is sorted in a pair consisting of an input object and a desired output value. An algorithm in this domain analyses the training data and produces an inferred function, which can be used for mapping new examples. The training data consist of a set of training examples.

SML is a type of system in which both input and desired output data are provided. Input and output data are labelled for classification to provide a learning basis for future data processing. Here I am going to describe an empirical description of supervised machine learning techniques. This learning uses techniques as below to develop predictive models.

  1. Regression – To predict the output value using training data.
  2. Classification – To group the output into a class.
Supervised Machine Learning

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Frequently used algorithms in supervised machine learning

Supervised learning gives glimpse of how to solve classification and regression problems.  The algorithm is “trained” on a pre-defined set of “training examples”, which then facilitate its ability to reach an accurate conclusion when given new data. It has “labeled” data for creating predictive models by using either type of ml algorithms as mentioned below.  It provides outputs typically in one of two forms.

  • Regression outputs are real-valued numbers that exist in a continuous space.
  • Classification outputs, on the other hand, fall into discrete categories.

We will not define algorithms mentioned in above picture, These were defined in our previous post . Also in my upcoming  posts we will try to take each one of them in a very detailed manner including their definition, use cases and flow etc.  For now lets just keep our focus on supervised learning where each example is a pair consisting of an input object i.e. typically a vector and desired output value.

Supervised Machine Learning

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Supervised Learning Process – SLP

While there are many Statistics and Machine Learning algorithms for supervised learning, most use the same basic workflow for obtaining a predictor model. The accuracy of SLP is determined by number of correct classification divided by total number of test cases. This equation clearly shows accuracy will be more close to perfection when we have when difference between “number of correct classification” and  “number of test cases” is minimal.

The process for Supervised Machine Learning is basically a two step process as below.

  • Learning – Learn a model using the training data or train model using training data.
  • Testing – Test the model using unseen test data to assess the model accuracy
Supervised Machine Learning

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The detailed steps for supervised learning processes are included but not limited though with.

  • Prepare data
  • Choose an algorithm
  • Fit a model
  • Choose a validation method
  • Examine fit and update until satisfied
  • Use fitted model for predictions

Goals of Supervised Learning

The goal in supervised learning is to approximate the mapping function well. An algorithm is used to learn the mapping function from the input to the output. In other words when input data (X) comes in predictions can be made for expected output variables (Y) for that data. Learning stops when the algorithm achieves an acceptable level of performance. This functional mapping takes the general form y = f(x) — specified target output y, provided inputs x, and the ML algorithm will learn the optimal f() by finding patterns in the data.

Y = f(X)

When an algorithm is applied on input variables (X) and an output variable (Y) to learn the mapping function from the input to the output which tells us that probably a supervised machine learning used here. The process or task is called as supervised learning because an algorithm learning from the training data set can be thought of as a supervisor supervising the learning process.


Use cases of Supervised Learning- Real Business

Supervised Learning is as good as low hanging fruit in data science for businesses. The key question when dealing with ML classification is not whether a learning algorithm is superior to others, but under which conditions a particular method can definitely outperform others on a given problem.

Supervised learning model makes predictions based on evidence in the presence of uncertainty. Some of the use cases for supervised learnings are depicted in below picture.

Supervised Machine Learning

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Points to Note:

All credits if any remains on the original contributor only. We have covered supervised machine learning where we make predictions from labeled historical data. In the next upcoming post will talk about unsupervised machine learning.


Supervised Machine LearningConclusion –  Supervised Learning which is one of three types of machine learning. This post is limited to supervised learning in order to explorer its details i.e. what it is doing and can do for businesses as a new electricity to power them up. This blog post I tried to performed a comparison of different supervised machine learning techniques in classifying FinTech data. This blog post is an attempt to describes the best-known supervised techniques in relative detail but not to claim anything. Aim was to produce a lighter rephrase of supervised learning and review of the key ideas rather than a simple list of all algorithms in this category.


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20 replies »

  1. Good Article my good sir, detailed and informative. However for stock markets i liked where you pointed out to say small predictions as the out put is determined by some other aspects like Politics which can not be quantified and or calculated. How then can we still rely on the output keeping in mind such other variables.

  2. Thank you for the post, very informative and well researched information at one place….. Supervised machine learning systems provide the learning algorithms with known quantities to support future judgments.

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