Machine Learning Reductions

author: John Langford, Microsoft Research
published: Feb. 25, 2007,   recorded: July 2006,   views: 7698


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There are several different classification problems commonly encountered in real world applications such as 'importance weighted classification', 'cost sensitive classification', 'reinforcement learning', 'regression' and others. Many of these problems can be related to each other by simple machines (reductions) that transform problems of one type into problems of another type. Finding a reduction from your problem to a more common problem allows the reuse of simple learning algorithms to solve relatively complex problems. It also induces an organization on learning problems — problems that can be easily reduced to each other are 'nearby' and problems which can not be so reduced are not close.

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