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Machine Learning with Python - A Comprehensive Introduction

Dates for Open Courses

Location Date Course Language
Leipzig September 03 - 05, 2018 Machine Learning with Python English register

Course also available as in-house training. Please ask us at info@python-academy.de

Intended Audience

Scientists, engineers, software developers, data scientists, and data engineers with basic knowledge of Python and no or little previous exposure to machine learning and deep learning. This course can be combined with introductory courses (see Recommended Module Combinations) to achieve appropriate Python skills.

Motivation

Machine learning allows programs to learn from data. It can help to discover patterns in data and to build innovative applications leveraging data in various forms: columnar, images, time series, sound or text. Machine learning introduces a different paradigm of problem solving: Instead of explicitly writing a program, the task shifts towards building a setup where an algorithm can propose a solution based on data. This way complex, fuzzy or otherwise unsolvable problems can be approached.

Course Content

Overview of the machine learning landscape in Python

The Python community has developed a broad ecosystem for machine learning tasks over the years. This course section provides a brief introduction to a selection of important libraries, frameworks, and tools.

Machine learning paradigms, problem setting, and development cycle

You will learn about the problem setting of machine learning as well as about typical development cycles: from problem formulation to model evaluation.

Data access, preparation and visualization

Machine learning requires data. Real-world data is often not suitable to be used in algorithms right away. In fact, a large amount of time is spent with preparatory work, such as accessing, visualizing, and cleaning data. Python is very good tool for these tasks. Often, Python allows to express complex processing in only a few lines of code. Powerful libraries such as NumPy, Pandas, matplotlib, and seaborn are essential for this high productivity. This course part focuses aspects of these popular libraries that are relevant to machine learning.

Data representation

Data comes in all shapes and colors. For machine learning this data must be converted into grids of numbers. The course introduces the most common representations and demonstrates how they can be translated into performant Python datastructures.

Regression Problems

Linear regression is a classical technique to model and estimate continuous numerical values. The algorithm is simple, scales well and has a high level of interpretability. Different implementations are possible with Python, from one-shot learning to an iterative approach.

Classification Problems

Many real-world problems can be framed as classification problems, either binary or multi-class. Spam detection, sentiment analysis, credit approval, galaxy identification. A variety of approaches exists, among them logistic regression.

Feature engineering

The process of feature engineering allows to select or to derive new features from existing data, if the input data does not suffice as is. Not every feature is important and there are several ways to select and test a well-performing subset.

Model evaluation, optimization and parameter tuning

Evaluation metrics allow to measure the performance of a model. Many machine learning models have a fixed number of parameters, which can and have to be tuned, in order to increase performance. Grid search is a prominent way to evaluate and find optimal parameters for a model.

Practical Application

Examples of practical applications demonstrate and reinforce the machine learning process from data cleaning to evaluation and parameter tuning, using various data sets.

Neural networks

Neural networks are a generic tool that have gained popularity in the recent decade. They can learn a wide variety of functions, but only in recent years the problem of learnability of the parameters has been addressed through algorithmic advances and better hardware. Python is well suited to build neural networks from scratch to understand the basic building blocks of the learning machines that existed for many decades and which also underlie more recent deep neural networks.

Deep Learning with Python

Deep learning utilizes neural networks with more than one hidden layer. Advances in network architectures driven by research and industry have created models, that are capable of tackling hard learning problems, such as object detection in images. The deep learning community has seen a wide adoption of Python in the form of various frameworks. The emphasis will be on the tensorflow and keras frameworks, while other options are briefly introduced.

Course Duration

3 days

Exercises

The participants can follow all steps directly on their computers. There are exercises at the end of each unit providing ample opportunity to apply the freshly learned knowledge.

Course Material

Every participant receives comprehensive printed materials that cover the whole course content as wells as all source codes and used software.

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