What are the best practices for training machine learning models?

January 9, 2019
machine learning

As we all know, Machine learning is a popular way of learning at your own pace. Machine learning also facilitates learning based on your likes and interests. For example, you are a person who is interested in space and astronomy, a machine learning driven course to learn mathematics for you, will first ask you few basic questions about your interest.

Once it establishes your interest, it will give examples of mathematical calculations using objects of space to keep you engaged. So, how are these machines able to establish your interest? What are the best practices for training machine learning models is something that we will see in this article.

Machine learning is based on three important basics.
Model: A Model is responsible for identifying relationship between variables and to make logical conclusion.
Parameters: Parameters are the input information that is given to Model to make logical decisions.
Learner: Learner is responsible for comparing all the Parameters given and deriving the conclusion for a given scenario.

Using these three modules, machine is trained to handle and process different information. But it is not always easy to train the machine. We need to adopt best practices for training machines for accurate predictions.

Right Metrics: Always start the machine learning training or practice with a problem. We need to establish success metrics and prepare a path to execute them. This is possible when we ensure that the success metrics that have been established are the right ones.

Gathering Training Data: The quality and quantity of data used is of utmost importance. The training data should include all possible parameters to avoid misclassifications. Insufficient data might lead to miscalculated results. The quantity of data also matters. Exposing the algorithms to a small set of humongous data can make them responsive to a specific kind of information again leading to inaccurate results when exposed to something other than the test data.

Negative sampling: It is very important to understand what is categorized as negative sampling. For example, if you are training your data for a Binary classification model, include data that requires other models like multi class classification model. By this, you can train the Machine to handle negative sampling too.

Take the algorithm to the database: We usually take the data out from the database and run the algorithm. This takes lot of effort and time. A good practice would be to run the training algorithm on the database and train it for the desired output. When we run the equation through the kernel instead of exporting the data, we not only save hours of time but we also prevent duplication of data.

Do not drop Data: We always create pipelines by copying an existing pipeline. But what happens in the background is, the old data gets dropped many a times to provide place for the fresh data. This can lead to incorrect sampling. Data dropping should be effectively handled.

Repetition is the key: The Learner is capable of making very minute adjustments for refining the model to obtain the desired output. To achieve this, the training cycle must be repeated again and again until the desired Model is obtained.

Test your data before actual launch: Once the Model is ready test the data in a separate test environment till you obtain the desired results. If your data sample is all the data up to a particular date for which you have all predictions, the test should be conducted on upcoming data to test the predictions.

Finally, it is also important to review the specifications of the Model from time to time to test the validity of the sample. You may have to upgrade it after a considerable amount of time depending on the type of model.

There is a lot to learn about ML(Machine Learning) that cannot be explained in a simple article like this. The Machine learning future in India is very bright. If you have the desired machine learning skills and need to pursue big data and machine learning courses in India, learn from pioneers like Imarticus.

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