Machine Learning 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Machine learning has upgraded the way we solve complex problems. From voice assistants to management systems, it’s everywhere. But what exactly is machine learning? How does it work?

Welcome to machine learning 101, a friendly guide to understanding the concept! We will provide you with a roadmap to navigate this captivating field. So let’s dig into the details!

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of AI (Artificial Intelligence). It involves using statistical models and algorithms that teach computers to learn and make decisions from data without explicit programming.

The key concept in machine learning is training. More specifically, we train algorithms by giving them lots of examples. Then, they can find patterns and create connections between the data.

Features of Machine Learning

Machine learning is a significant technological advancement and has had a massive impact on many applications and industries. This concept includes the following features:

1. Predictive modeling

Machine learning algorithms use data to make models that predict what might happen in the future.

For example, these models can help us figure out how risky it is for someone not to pay a loan or how likely it is for a person to buy something.

2. Automation

The algorithms make it easier to find patterns in data without needing as much human help. This approach helps us analyze the data more accurately and effectively.

3. Scalability

Machine learning is excellent for working with big data as it can handle huge amounts of information. Hence, businesses can use the insights from the data to make decisions.

4. Generalization

Machine learning algorithms can find general patterns in data to help analyze new and unfamiliar data. Even if the training data doesn’t match the current task perfectly, it can still be useful for predicting future events.

5. Adaptiveness

By getting new data, machine learning algorithms keep learning and improving. Hence, they will become more accurate with information.

Fundamentals of Machine Learning

Machine learning works on 3 fundamentals: data, training, and generalization:

  • Data: Machine learning algorithms can analyze data to identify patterns and make predictions. The data can be labeled or unlabeled.
  • Training: Training machine learning models is about feeling the input data along with corresponding output labels or finding patterns in the input data.
  • Generalization: Machine learning tries to make models that work well with new data they haven’t seen before. These models can predict or decide things accurately, even with new examples, using what they’ve learned from previous data.

Types of Machine Learning

Machine learning works differently to deal with the data. There are four primary types as follows:

1. Supervised learning

Supervised learning uses data with input features and output labels. Then, it learns how the input relates to the output to predict outcomes for new data.

2. Unsupervised learning

In unsupervised learning, there are no output labels in the training data, only input features. The model looks for structures, patterns, or relationships in the data.

This video will help you understand the differences between supervised learning and unsupervised learning:

3. Reinforcement learning

Reinforcement learning teaches an agent to interact with its surroundings and learn the best solutions through trial and error. Then, the agent gets feedback, like penalties or rewards, based on the outcomes of its actions.

4. Semi-Supervised Learning

Semi-supervised learning combines unsupervised and supervised learning. It uses a large part of unlabeled data and a small part of labeled data for training.

Key Components of Machine Learning

To understand machine learning, you need to know the critical components of this concept.

  • Features: Features are input variables that can describe the data. Choosing relevant features to provide useful information for better model performance is essential.
  • Algorithms: We use machine learning algorithms as mathematical models to analyze input data and discover patterns or connections. They can be neural networks or decision trees.
  • Evaluation: Evaluation assesses how well a machine learning model performs on new data. This examination uses metrics like F1 score, recall, or AUC (Area Under The Curve).
  • Training and Testing: The training phase teaches the model with a part of the data. Meanwhile, the testing phase assesses the model’s functionality on a different part of the data.

Common Machine Learning Algorithms

Algorithms are important components of machine learning. Depending on your specific goal, you may need a certain type of algorithm.

1. Neural networks

Neural networks imitate our brains but use interconnected processing nodes. They are excellent at detecting patterns. We often use them for image recognition, language translation, and speech recognition.

2. Linear regression

This algorithm predicts numerical values by establishing a linear connection between different variables. For instance, it can forecast house prices using past data about the neighborhood.

3. Logistic regression

This algorithm in supervised learning can predict outcomes for categorical responses like “yes/no.” We often use it for quality maintenance in production.

4. Clustering

Clustering algorithms use unsupervised learning to find patterns and group similar items together. This approach helps data scientists point out differences between data items that we may overlook.

5. Decision trees

Decision trees can predict numerical values and classify data into groups. They use a sequence of linked decisions shown as a tree diagram.

6. Random forests

The machine learning algorithm uses various decision trees to predict a value or category in a random forest.

Each algorithm has a specific working method

Workflow of Machine Learning

Machine learning follows a smooth process to function properly. Its workflow typically involves the following steps:

  • Data preparation: The algorithm first gathers and cleans data, then turns it into an appropriate format.
  • Model selection and training: The algorithm chooses and trains the most suitable machine learning models based on the prepared data.
  • Evaluation: Next, the algorithm assesses the performance and functionality of the model using metrics. The goal of this stage is to ensure effectiveness and accuracy.
  • Deployment and prediction: Finally, the algorithm deploys the trained structure into an environment and uses it to predict and decide on new data.


This guide has given a solid foundation for understanding the key concepts of machine learning. By grasping these fundamentals, you are now equipped to dive deeper into machine learning.

Hopefully, you will find this guide helpful. For any further information about machine learning, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for reading!