Support Vector Machine (Step by Step)
I’ve created these step-by-step machine learning algorith implementations in Python for everyone who is new to the field and might be confused with the different steps.
It really helps understanding what’s happening during a machine learning implementation.
In this particular tutorial I will break down different steps of a support vector machine algorithm in scikit learn with Python. It’s very similar to most other machine learning algorithm implementations in Python but there are many SVM specific parameters that can be and often that should be adjusted.
Check out this page to learn the history of Support Vector Machine.
Provided by HolyPython.com
I’ve split up Support Vector Machine implementation to 2 different categories here:
(Red for the actual machine learning work and black font signifies preparation phase)
Down the page I’ve also color coded the steps in a different way to group similar steps with each other.
- Import the relevant Python libraries
- Import the data
- Read / clean / adjust the data (if needed)
- Create a train / test split
- Create the Support Vector Machine model object
- Fit the model
- Evaluate the accuracy
1 Import Libraries
pandas can be useful for constructing dataframes and scikit learn is the ultimate library for simple machine learning operations, learning and practicing machine learning.
3 Read the Data
Reading data is simple but there can be important points such as: dealing with columns, headers, titles, constructing data frames etc.
6 Fit the Model
Machine Learning models can be created with a very simple and straight-forward process using scikitlearn. In this case we will create a Support Vector Machine object from the SVC module of scikitlearn.svm library.
Once the model is ready, predictions can be done on the test part of the data. Furthermore, I enjoy predicting foreign values that are not in the initial dataset just to observe the outcomes the model creates. .predict method is used for predictions.
2 Import the Data
We need a nice dataset that’s sensible to analyze with machine learning techniques, particularly SVM in this case. Scikitlearn has some cool sample data as well.
4 Split the Data
Even splitting data is made easy with Scikit-learn, for this operation we will use train_test_module from scikitlearn library.
6 Fit the Model
Machine Learning models are generally fit by training data. This is the part where training of the model takes place and we will do the same for our support vector machine model.
Finally, scikitlearn library’s metrics module is very useful to test the accuracy of the model’s predictions. This part could be done manually as well but metrics module brings lots of functionality and simplicity to the table.
1- Importing the libraries (pandas and sklearn libraries)
First the import part for libraries:
- pandas is imported for data frames
- train_test_split from sklearn.model_selection makes splitting data for train and test purposes very easy and proper
- sklearn provides the model for Support Vector Machine (svm)
- datasets module of sklearn has great datasets making it easy to experiment with AI & Machine Learning
- metrics is great for evaluating the results we’ll get from Support Vector Machine
import pandas as pd
from sklearn import datasets
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split as tts
from sklearn import svm
from sklearn import metrics
2- Importing the data (breast cancer dataset)
It’s time to find some data to work with. For the simplicity I will suggest using pre-included datasets library in scikitlearn. They are great for practice and everything is already taken care. So, there won’t be a complication such as missing values or invalid characters etc. while you’re learning.
Let’s import the breast-cancer dataset:
cancer = datasets.load_breast_cancer()
3- Reading the data (scikitlearn datasets and pandas dataframe)
Now we can get the data ready:
Pandas DataFrame class is used to construct a data frame. Data frames are very useful when working with large datasets with different titles.
In case of machine learning algorithms: you usually have feature(s) and an outcome or multiple outcomes to work with, this mean different titles and sometimes different types of data. That’s why DataFrame becomes the perfect structure to work with.
Since, data is clearly defined already, we’ll take a shortcut and work on data attributes directly. This eliminates the need to construct a data frame.
###Constructing Data Frame
4- Splitting the data (train_test_split module)
This is another standard Machine Learning step.
We need to split data so that there are:
- training feature(s) and outcome(s)
- test feature(s) and test outcome(s)
It’s a rather simple process (step) thanks to Scikit learn’s train_test_split module.
- I named the variables X_tr, y_tr for training and X_ts, y_ts for test input. This is up to your taste or your circumstances.
- X_tr, X_ts will be assigned to a part of the features
- y_tr, y_ts will be assigned to a part of outcomes
- Split ratio can be assigned using test_size parameter. This is an important parameter and something you should experiment with to get a better understanding. 1/4th, 1/3rd or 30% usually are reasonable ratios.
- Then model works on X_tr and y_tr for training.
- Then we will test it on X_ts and y_ts to see how successful the model is.
###Splitting train/test data
X_tr, X_tst, y_tr, y_tst = tts(cancer.data, cancer.target, test_size=25/100,random_state=109)
You don’t want to overtrain the machine learning model by assigning a split ratio such as 50/50. This will train the model in a way that it’s very very good in predicting the test part of the same dataset but it might struggle adapting to predicting data from outside the current dataset in future because it has adapted way too much to the data at hand (overfitting)
Don’t worry too much about overfitting in the beginning but it’s an important phenomenon and something you should gain experience about as you gain more skills and experience.
5- Creating the model (svm.SVC)
Now we can create a Support Vector Machine object and put machine learning to work using the training data:
###Creating Support Vector Machine Model
clf = svm.SVC(kernel='rbf')
6- Fitting the model (Training with features(X) and outcomes (y))
###Training the Model
7- Making predictions (.predict method)
y_pr = clf.predict(X_tst)
8- Evaluating results (scikitlearn metrics module)
###Evaluating Prediction Accuracy
Bonus: Predicting foreign data
###Making Prediction with Foreign Data
You can see the full one piece code in this page: Support Vector Machine Simple Implementation