Encyclopedia of Machine Learning

2010 Edition
| Editors: Claude Sammut, Geoffrey I. Webb


  • Chris Drummond
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30164-8_111



In common usage, the word classification means to put things into categories, group them together in some useful way. If we are screening for a disease, we would group people into those with the disease and those without. We, as humans, usually do this because things in a group, called a  class in machine learning, share common characteristics. If we know the class of something, we know a lot about it. In machine learning, the term classification is most commonly associated with a particular type of learning where examples of one or more classes, labeled with the name of the class, are given to the learning algorithm. The algorithm produces a classifier which maps the properties of these examples, normally expressed as  attribute-value pairs, to the class labels. A new example whose class is unknown is classified when it is given a class label by the classifier based on its properties. In...

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  • Chris Drummond

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