Unsupervised Learning

Unsupervised Learning

« Back to Glossary Index

Unsupervised Learning is a category within Machine Learning where algorithms are used to analyze and model data that has not been labeled, classified, or categorized. Unlike supervised learning, no explicit supervision is provided, and the algorithm is not told what to look for in the data. Instead, it is left to find interesting structures and patterns on its own.

Unsupervised Learning is particularly useful for exploring the underlying structure and relationships within datasets, and it can be used for a variety of purposes including clustering, dimensionality reduction, anomaly detection, and data compression.

There are two main types of unsupervised learning:

Clustering: This involves grouping data points that are similar to each other. It’s about finding a structure in the data where you didn’t know the structure in advance. For example, segmenting customers into different groups based on purchasing behavior.

Dimensionality Reduction: This involves reducing the number of variables or features in a dataset, while retaining the essential features. This is often used for data visualization, data compression, or to mitigate the ‘curse of dimensionality’ when working with high-dimensional data.

Another application of unsupervised learning is Anomaly Detection, where the algorithm is used to identify unusual patterns that do not conform to expected behavior. It’s widely used in fraud detection, network security, and fault detection.

Unsupervised learning algorithms include:

  • K-means for clustering problems.
  • Hierarchical clustering for nested clusters.
  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for dimensionality reduction.
  • Autoencoders for data compression and noise reduction.

Unsupervised learning is powerful in the sense that it can analyze complex data without the need for labeled examples. However, the lack of supervision also means that the interpretation of the results can be less straightforward and often requires domain expertise.

In practice, unsupervised learning can be used as a step of exploratory data analysis or in conjunction with supervised techniques to derive more meaningful features and insights from the data

« Back to Glossary Index

Let's create something amazing.

Coffee Much?

Built in center of everything 🌎 Indianapolis, IN.

Privacy Policy