Machine Learning with SQL Server & R : Part 01 – What, Why and How
Machine Learning (ML) is very fascinating nowadays. But what is ML? why it is required? how a machine can learn? what kind of output it will provide? these kind of questions comes in our mind when we think about Machine Learning, right!!!
In this blog post we are going to discuss very briefly about Machine Learning and in later posts we will see about its application and coding. This series will help those individuals who has just started OR planning to start understanding Machine Learning Technology and it will be a good refresher for those who are already working in it.
What: What is Machine Learning?
Everyone of us are good at something like riding a bike, playing some game, cooking etc.; correct!
Now, hold-on and think, why you are good at those things? Because you know it very well. You know what could happen and what kind of reaction you supposed to do for any consequences.
Imagine, a kid learning to walk. he falls initially but as time passes, he walks very well. And the reason is very obvious that he learnt how to walk OR in other words he learnt how not to fall. This is called “Learning” from your past experience (or “Data” in computer science) and match with it’s current output and keep doing by itself. Now, just replace the kid with a small robot and somehow program it to learn from it’s past data and apply to the next occurrence, it will react same as the kid. THAT IS MACHINE LEARNING.
Machine Learning is a technique which enables a program to learn from available data and it’s future occurrences and act according to that. AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), NLP (Natural Language Processing), (NN) Neural Network and Deep Learning; are branches of Data Science with marginal differences in terms of its input & output complexity.
Example: When your mail service provider separates junk mails for you, when you see sales advertisement on your screen as per your last search and many more are very good example of machine learning algorithms.
Machine Learning broadly divided into two categories like supervised learning and unsupervised learning.
Supervised Learning: In supervised learning the output is desirable like whether any occurrence will happen or not OR what is the likelihood of any occurrence. Classification problems and regression problems are very good example of supervised learning.
Unsupervised Learning: In unsupervised learning the output is not desirable. Clustering problems and association problems are good example of unsupervised learning.
Why: Why ML is trending now?
Now, you might be having the idea that ML is a “Data” hunger program. if no data then no machine learning ( except it is not comes under unsupervised learning). As we have a huge data assets with us in form of structured data ( form transaction systems, warehouses etc.) or unstructured data ( from social media, online shopping platform etc.) so now business houses, politicians, banks and others wants see their data and convert into some meaningful output for better decision making. It becomes very favorable condition to use ML or AI services to make better decisions.
How: How we can use ML as a tool?
There are many tools available to explore data using Machine Learning like R, Python, Matlab etc. but we are going to look “Machine Learning Services” of SQL SERVER 2017 (R). By using SQL Server 2016 and above machine learning services we can process the entire data set in the model. We are going to use RTool in Visual Studio 2017. You can refer R-Services in SQL SERVER 2016 post for its introduction part.