Top 10 Machine Learning Algorithms to Use in 2024

Sunil Ray 19 Mar, 2024
18 min read

Google’s self-driving cars and robots get a lot of press, but the company’s real future is in machine learning, the technology that enables computers to get smarter and more personal.

Eric Schmidt (Google Chairman)

We are probably living in the most defining period of human history. The period when computing moved from large mainframes to PCs to the cloud. But what makes it defining is not what has happened but what is coming our way in years to come. What makes this period exciting and enthralling for someone like me is the democratization of the various tools, techniques, and machine learning algorithms that followed the boost in computing. Welcome to the world of data science!

Today, as a data scientist, I can build data-crunching machines with complex algorithms for a few dollars per hour. But reaching here wasn’t easy! I had my dark days and nights.

Learning Objectives

  • Major focus on commonly used machine learning techniques and algorithms.
  • Algorithms covered – Linear regression, logistic regression, Naive Bayes, kNN, Random forest, etc.
  • Learn both theory and implementation of the machine learning algorithms in R and python.

Are you a beginner looking for a place to start your data science journey and learn machine learning models? Presenting a list of comprehensive courses, full of knowledge and data science learning, curated just for you to learn data science (using Python) from scratch:

Who Can Benefit the Most From This Guide?

What I am giving out today is probably the most valuable guide I have ever created.

The idea behind creating this guide is to simplify the journey of aspiring data scientists and machine learning (which is part of artificial intelligence) enthusiasts across the world. Through this guide, I will enable you to work on machine-learning problems and gain from experience. I am providing a high-level understanding of various machine learning algorithms along with R & Python codes to run them. These should be sufficient to get your hands dirty. You can also check out our Machine Learning Course.

Essentials of machine learning algorithms with implementation in R and Python

I have deliberately skipped the statistics behind these techniques and artificial neural networks, as you don’t need to understand them initially. So, if you are looking for a statistical understanding of these algorithms, you should look elsewhere. But, if you want to equip yourself to start building a machine learning project, you are in for a treat.

3 Types of Machine Learning Algorithms

Supervised Learning Algorithms

How it works: This algorithm consists of a target/outcome variable (or dependent variable) which is to be predicted from a given set of predictors (independent variables). Using this set of variables, we generate a function that maps input data to desired outputs. The training process continues until the model achieves the desired level of accuracy on the training data. Examples of Supervised Learning: Regression, Decision Tree, Random Forest, KNN, Logistic Regression, etc.

Unsupervised Learning Algorithms

How it works: In this algorithm, we do not have any target or outcome variable to predict / estimate (which is called unlabelled data). It is used for recommendation systems or clustering populations in different groups. clustering algorithms are widely used for segmenting customers into different groups for specific interventions. Examples of Unsupervised Learning: Apriori algorithm, K-means clustering.

Reinforcement Learning Algorithms

How it works: Using this algorithm, the machine is trained to make specific decisions. The machine is exposed to an environment where it trains itself continually using trial and error. This machine learns from past experience and tries to capture the best possible knowledge to make accurate business decisions. Example of Reinforcement Learning: Markov Decision Process

List of Top 10 Common Machine Learning Algorithms

Here is the list of commonly used machine learning algorithms. These algorithms can be applied to almost any data problem:

  1. Linear Regression
  2. Logistic Regression
  3. Decision Tree
  4. SVM
  5. Naive Bayes
  6. kNN
  7. K-Means
  8. Random Forest
  9. Dimensionality Reduction Algorithms
  10. Gradient Boosting algorithms
    • GBM
    • XGBoost
    • LightGBM
    • CatBoost

1. Linear Regression

It is used to estimate real values (cost of houses, number of calls, total sales, etc.) based on a continuous variable(s). Here, we establish the relationship between independent and dependent variables by fitting the best line.

This best-fit line is known as the regression line and is represented by a linear equation Y= a*X + b.

Example 1

The best way to understand linear regression is to relive this experience of childhood. Let us say you ask a child in fifth grade to arrange people in his class by increasing the order of weight without asking them their weights! What do you think the child will do? He/she would likely look (visually analyze) at the height and build of people and arrange them using a combination of these visible parameters. This is linear regression in real life! The child has actually figured out that height and build would be correlated to weight by a relationship, which looks like the equation above.

In this equation:

  • Y – Dependent Variable
  • a – Slope
  • X – Independent variable
  • b – Intercept

These coefficients a and b are derived based on minimizing the sum of the squared difference of distance between data points and the regression line.

Example 2

Look at the below example. Here we have identified the best-fit line having linear equation y=0.2811x+13.9. Now using this equation, we can find the weight, knowing the height of a person.

Linear_Regression | machine learning algorithms

Linear Regression is mainly of two types: Simple Linear Regression and Multiple Linear Regression. Simple Linear Regression is characterized by one independent variable. And, Multiple Linear Regression(as the name suggests) is characterized by multiple (more than 1) independent variables. While finding the best-fit line, you can fit a polynomial or curvilinear regression. And these are known as polynomial or curvilinear regression.

Here’s a coding window to try out your hand and build your own linear regression model:


R Code:

#Load Train and Test datasets
#Identify feature and response variable(s) and values must be numeric and numpy arrays
x_train <- input_variables_values_training_datasets
y_train <- target_variables_values_training_datasets
x_test <- input_variables_values_test_datasets
x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Train the model using the training sets and check score
linear <- lm(y_train ~ ., data = x)
#Predict Output
predicted= predict(linear,x_test)

2. Logistic Regression

Don’t get confused by its name! It is a classification algorithm, not a regression algorithm. It is used to estimate discrete values ( Binary values like 0/1, yes/no, true/false ) based on a given set of independent variable(s). In simple words, it predicts the probability of the occurrence of an event by fitting data to a logistic function. Hence, it is also known as logit regression. Since it predicts the probability, its output values lie between 0 and 1 (as expected).

Again, let us try and understand this through a simple example.

Let’s say your friend gives you a puzzle to solve. There are only 2 outcome scenarios – either you solve it, or you don’t. Now imagine that you are being given a wide range of puzzles/quizzes in an attempt to understand which subjects you are good at. The outcome of this study would be something like this – if you are given a trigonometry-based tenth-grade problem, you are 70% likely to solve it. On the other hand, if it is a grade fifth history question, the probability of getting an answer is only 30%. This is what Logistic Regression provides you.

Coming to the math, the log odds of the outcome are modeled as a linear combination of the predictor variables.

odds= p/ (1-p) = probability of event occurrence / probability of not event occurrence
ln(odds) = ln(p/(1-p))
logit(p) = ln(p/(1-p)) = b0+b1X1+b2X2+b3X3....+bkXk

Above, p is the probability of the presence of the characteristic of interest. It chooses parameters that maximize the likelihood of observing the sample values rather than that minimize the sum of squared errors (like in ordinary regression).

Now, you may ask, why take a log? For the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that this is one of the best mathematical ways to replicate a step function. I can go into more details, but that will beat the purpose of this article.

Logistic_Regression | machine learning algorithms

Build your own logistic regression model in Python here and check the accuracy:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Train the model using the training sets and check score
logistic <- glm(y_train ~ ., data = x,family='binomial')
#Predict Output
predicted= predict(logistic,x_test)


There are many different steps that could be tried in order to improve the model:

3. Decision Tree

This is one of my favorite algorithms, and I use it quite frequently. It is a type of supervised learning algorithm that is mostly used for classification problems. Surprisingly, it works for both categorical and continuous dependent variables. In this algorithm, we split the population into two or more homogeneous sets. This is done based on the most significant attributes/ independent variables to make as distinct groups as possible. For more details, you can read Decision Tree Simplified.

Decision tree sample | machine learning algorithms
Source: statsexchange

In the image above, you can see that population is classified into four different groups based on multiple attributes to identify ‘if they will play or not’. To split the population into different heterogeneous groups, it uses various techniques like Gini, Information Gain, Chi-square, and entropy.

The best way to understand how the decision tree works, is to play Jezzball – a classic game from Microsoft (image below). Essentially, you have a room with moving walls and you need to create walls such that the maximum area gets cleared off without the balls.

Jezzball game | machine learning algorithms

So, every time you split the room with a wall, you are trying to create 2 different populations within the same room. Decision trees work in a very similar fashion by dividing a population into as different groups as possible.

More: Simplified Version of Decision Tree Algorithms

Let’s get our hands dirty and code our own decision tree in Python!

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# grow tree 
fit <- rpart(y_train ~ ., data = x,method="class")
#Predict Output 
predicted= predict(fit,x_test)

4. SVM (Support Vector Machine)

It is a classification method. In SVM algorithm, we plot each data item as a point in n-dimensional space (where n is the number of features you have), with the value of each feature being the value of a particular coordinate.

For example, if we only had two features like the Height and Hair length of an individual, we’d first plot these two variables in two-dimensional space where each point has two coordinates (these co-ordinates are known as Support Vectors)

SVM1 | machine learning algorithms

Now, we will find some lines that split the data between the two differently classified groups of data. This will be the line such that the distances from the closest point in each of the two groups will be the farthest away. If there are more variables, a hyperplane is used to separate the classes.

SVM2 | machine learning algorithms

In the example shown above, the line which splits the data into two differently classified groups is the black line since the two closest points are the farthest apart from the line. This line is our classifier. Then, depending on where the testing data lands on either side of the line, that’s what class we can classify the new data as.

Think of this algorithm as playing JezzBall in n-dimensional space. The tweaks in the game are:

  • You can draw lines/planes at any angle (rather than just horizontal or vertical as in the classic game)
  • The objective of the game is to segregate balls of different colors in different rooms.
  • And the balls are not moving.

Try your hand and design an SVM model in Python through this coding window:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Fitting model
fit <-svm(y_train ~ ., data = x)
#Predict Output 
predicted= predict(fit,x_test)

5. Naive Bayes

It is a classification technique based on Bayes’ theorem with an assumption of independence between predictors. In simple terms, a Naive Bayes classifier assumes that the presence of a particular feature in a class is unrelated to the presence of any other feature. For example, a fruit may be considered to be an apple if it is red, round, and about 3 inches in diameter. Even if these features depend on each other or upon the existence of the other features, a naive Bayes classifier would consider all of these properties to independently contribute to the probability that this fruit is an apple.

The Naive Bayesian model is easy to build and particularly useful for very large data sets. Along with simplicity, Naive Bayes is known to outperform even highly sophisticated classification methods.

Naive Bayes Equation

Bayes theorem provides a way of calculating posterior probability P(c|x) from P(c), P(x), and P(x|c). Look at the equation below:

Bayes_rule | machine learning algorithms


  • P(c|x) is the posterior probability of class (target) given predictor (attribute).
  • P(c) is the prior probability of the class.
  • P(x|c) is the likelihood which is the probability of the predictor given the class.
  • P(x) is the prior probability of the predictor.


Let’s understand it using an example. Below is a training data set of weather and the corresponding target variable, ‘Play.’ Now, we need to classify whether players will play or not based on weather conditions. Let’s follow the below steps to perform it.

Time needed: 3 minutes

  1. Convert the data set to a frequency table.

  2. Create a Likelihood table by finding the probabilities like Overcast probability = 0.29 and probability of playing is 0.64.

    Naive bayes

  3. Now, use the Naive Bayesian equation to calculate the posterior probability for each class. The class with the highest posterior probability is the outcome of the prediction.

Problem: Players will pay if the weather is sunny. Is this statement correct?

We can solve it using above discussed method, so P(Yes | Sunny) = P( Sunny | Yes) * P(Yes) / P (Sunny)

Here we have P (Sunny | Yes) = 3/9 = 0.33, P(Sunny) = 5/14 = 0.36, P(Yes)= 9/14 = 0.64

Now, P (Yes | Sunny) = 0.33 * 0.64 / 0.36 = 0.60, which has a higher probability.

Naive Bayes uses a similar method to predict the probability of different classes based on various attributes. This algorithm is mostly used in text classification and with problems having multiple classes.

Code for a Naive Bayes classification model in Python:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Fitting model
fit <-naiveBayes(y_train ~ ., data = x)
#Predict Output 
predicted= predict(fit,x_test)

6. kNN (k- Nearest Neighbors)

It can be used for both classification and regression problems. However, it is more widely used in classification problems in the industry. K nearest neighbors is a simple algorithm that stores all available cases and classifies new cases by a majority vote of its k neighbors. The case assigned to the class is most common amongst its K nearest neighbors measured by a distance function.

These distance functions can be Euclidean, Manhattan, Minkowski, and Hamming distances. The first three functions are used for continuous functions, and the fourth one (Hamming) for categorical variables. If K = 1, then the case is simply assigned to the class of its nearest neighbor. At times, choosing K turns out to be a challenge while performing kNN modeling.

More: Introduction to k-nearest neighbors: Simplified.

KNN | machine learning algorithms

KNN can easily be mapped to our real lives. If you want to learn about a person with whom you have no information, you might like to find out about his close friends and the circles he moves in and gain access to his/her information!

Things to consider before selecting kNN:

  • KNN is computationally expensive
  • Variables should be normalized else higher range variables can bias it
  • Works on pre-processing stage more before going for kNN like an outlier, noise removal

Python Code:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Fitting model
fit <-knn(y_train ~ ., data = x,k=5)
#Predict Output 
predicted= predict(fit,x_test)

7. K-Means

It is a type of unsupervised algorithm which solves the clustering problem. Its procedure follows a simple and easy way to classify a given data set through a certain number of clusters (assume k clusters). Data points inside a cluster are homogeneous and heterogeneous to peer groups.

Remember figuring out shapes from ink blots? k means is somewhat similar to this activity. You look at the shape and spread to decipher how many different clusters/populations are present!


How K-means forms cluster:

  1. K-means picks k number of points for each cluster known as centroids.
  2. Each data point forms a cluster with the closest centroids, i.e., k clusters.
  3. Finds the centroid of each cluster based on existing cluster members. Here we have new centroids.
  4. As we have new centroids, repeat steps 2 and 3. Find the closest distance for each data point from new centroids and get associated with new k-clusters. Repeat this process until convergence occurs, i.e., centroids do not change.

How to determine the value of K:

In K-means, we have clusters, and each cluster has its own centroid. The sum of the square of the difference between the centroid and the data points within a cluster constitutes the sum of the square value for that cluster. Also, when the sum of square values for all the clusters is added, it becomes a total within the sum of the square value for the cluster solution.

We know that as the number of clusters increases, this value keeps on decreasing, but if you plot the result, you may see that the sum of squared distance decreases sharply up to some value of k and then much more slowly after that. Here, we can find the optimum number of clusters.

Kmeans | machine learning algorithms

Python Code:

R Code:

fit <- kmeans(X, 3) # 5 cluster solution

8. Random Forest

Random Forest is a trademarked term for an ensemble learning of decision trees. In Random Forest, we’ve got a collection of decision trees (also known as “Forest”). To classify a new object based on attributes, each tree gives a classification, and we say the tree “votes” for that class. The forest chooses the classification having the most votes (over all the trees in the forest).

Each tree is planted & grown as follows:

  1. If the number of cases in the training set is N, then a sample of N cases is taken at random but with replacement. This sample will be the training set for growing the tree.
  2. If there are M input variables, a number m<<M is specified such that at each node, m variables are selected at random out of the M, and the best split on this m is used to split the node. The value of m is held constant during the forest growth.
  3. Each tree is grown to the largest extent possible. There is no pruning.

For more details on this algorithm, compared with the decision tree and tuning model parameters, I would suggest you read these articles:

  1. Introduction to Random forest – Simplified
  2. Comparing a CART model to Random Forest (Part 1)
  3. Comparing a Random Forest to a CART model (Part 2)
  4. Tuning the parameters of your Random Forest model

Python Code:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Fitting model
fit <- randomForest(Species ~ ., x,ntree=500)
#Predict Output 
predicted= predict(fit,x_test)

9. Dimensionality Reduction Algorithms

In the last 4-5 years, there has been an exponential increase in data capturing at every possible stage. Corporates/ Government Agencies/ Research organizations are not only coming up with new sources, but also they are capturing data in great detail.

For example, E-commerce companies are capturing more details about customers like their demographics, web crawling history, what they like or dislike, purchase history, feedback, and many others to give them personalized attention more than your nearest grocery shopkeeper.

As data scientists, the data we are offered also consists of many features, this sounds good for building a good robust model, but there is a challenge. How’d you identify highly significant variable(s) out of 1000 or 2000? In such cases, the dimensionality reduction algorithm helps us, along with various other algorithms like Decision Tree, Random Forest, PCA (principal component analysis), Factor Analysis, Identity-based on the correlation matrix, missing value ratio, and others.

To know more about these algorithms, you can read “Beginners Guide To Learn Dimension Reduction Techniques“.

Python Code:

R Code:

pca <- princomp(train, cor = TRUE)
train_reduced  <- predict(pca,train)
test_reduced  <- predict(pca,test)

10. Gradient Boosting Algorithms

Now, let’s look at the 4 most commonly used gradient boosting algorithms.


GBM is a boosting algorithm used when we deal with plenty of data to make a prediction with high prediction power. Boosting is actually an ensemble of learning algorithms that combines the prediction of several base estimators in order to improve robustness over a single estimator. It combines multiple weak or average predictors to build a strong predictor. These boosting algorithms always work well in data science competitions like Kaggle, AV Hackathon, and CrowdAnalytix.

More: Know about Boosting algorithms in detail

Python Code:

R Code:

x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)
# Fitting model
fitControl <- trainControl( method = "repeatedcv", number = 4, repeats = 4)
fit <- train(y ~ ., data = x, method = "gbm", trControl = fitControl,verbose = FALSE)
predicted= predict(fit,x_test,type= "prob")[,2]

GradientBoostingClassifier and Random Forest are two different boosting tree classifiers, and often people ask about the difference between these two algorithms.


Another classic gradient-boosting algorithm that’s known to be the decisive choice between winning and losing in some Kaggle competitions is the XGBoost. It has an immensely high predictive power, making it the best choice for accuracy in events. It possesses both a linear model and the tree learning algorithm, making the algorithm almost 10x faster than existing gradient booster techniques.

One of the most interesting things about the XGBoost is that it is also called a regularized boosting technique. This helps to reduce overfit modeling and has massive support for a range of languages such as Scala, Java, R, Python, Julia, and C++.

The support includes various objective functions, including regression, classification, and ranking. Supports distributed and widespread training on many machines that encompass GCE, AWS, Azure, and Yarn clusters. XGBoost can also be integrated with Spark, Flink, and other cloud dataflow systems with built-in cross-validation at each iteration of the boosting process.

To learn more about XGBoost and parameter tuning, visit

Python Code:

R Code:


x <- cbind(x_train,y_train)

# Fitting model

TrainControl <- trainControl( method = "repeatedcv", number = 10, repeats = 4)

model<- train(y ~ ., data = x, method = "xgbLinear", trControl = TrainControl,verbose = FALSE)


model<- train(y ~ ., data = x, method = "xgbTree", trControl = TrainControl,verbose = FALSE)

predicted <- predict(model, x_test)


LightGBM is a gradient-boosting framework that uses tree-based learning algorithms. It is designed to be distributed and efficient with the following advantages:

  • Faster training speed and higher efficiency
  • Lower memory usage
  • Better accuracy
  • Parallel and GPU learning supported
  • Capable of handling large-scale data

The framework is a fast and high-performance gradient-boosting one based on decision tree algorithms used for ranking, classification, and many other machine-learning tasks. It was developed under the Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit Project of Microsoft.

Since the LightGBM is based on decision tree algorithms, it splits the tree leaf-wise with the best fit, whereas other boosting algorithms split the tree depth-wise or level-wise rather than leaf-wise. So when growing on the same leaf node in Light GBM, the leaf-wise algorithm can reduce more loss than the level-wise algorithm, resulting in much better accuracy, which any existing boosting algorithms can rarely achieve.

Also, it is surprisingly very fast, hence the word ‘Light.’

Refer to the article to know more about LightGBM:

Python Code:

data = np.random.rand(500, 10) # 500 entities, each contains 10 features
label = np.random.randint(2, size=500) # binary target

train_data = lgb.Dataset(data, label=label)
test_data = train_data.create_valid('test.svm')

param = {'num_leaves':31, 'num_trees':100, 'objective':'binary'}
param['metric'] = 'auc'

num_round = 10
bst = lgb.train(param, train_data, num_round, valid_sets=[test_data])


# 7 entities, each contains 10 features
data = np.random.rand(7, 10)
ypred = bst.predict(data)

R Code:


num_iterations <- 100
config <- list(objective = "binary",  metric="binary_logloss,auc", learning_rate = 0.1, num_leaves = 63, tree_learner = "serial", feature_fraction = 0.8, bagging_freq = 5, bagging_fraction = 0.8, min_data_in_leaf = 50, min_sum_hessian_in_leaf = 5.0)

#Create data handle and booster <-, "label", y)

handle.booster <- lgbm.booster.create(, lapply(config, as.character))

#Train for num_iterations iterations and eval every 5 steps

lgbm.booster.train(handle.booster, num_iterations, 5)

pred <- lgbm.booster.predict(handle.booster, x.test)

#Test accuracy
sum(y.test == (y.pred > 0.5)) / length(y.test)

#Save model (can be loaded again via lgbm.booster.load(filename)), filename = "/tmp/model.txt")

If you’re familiar with the Caret package in R, this is another way of implementing the LightGBM.


model <-caretModel.LGBM()

fit <- train(Species ~ ., data = iris, method=model, verbosity = 0)
y.pred <- predict(fit, iris[,1:4])

model.sparse <- caretModel.LGBM.sparse()

#Generate a sparse matrix
mat <- Matrix(as.matrix(iris[,1:4]), sparse = T)
fit <- train(data.frame(idx = 1:nrow(iris)), iris$Species, method = model.sparse, matrix = mat, verbosity = 0)


CatBoost is one of open-sourced machine learning algorithms from Yandex. It can easily integrate with deep learning frameworks like Google’s TensorFlow and Apple’s Core ML. The best part about CatBoost is that it does not require extensive data training like other ML models and can work on a variety of data formats, not undermining how robust it can be.

Catboost can automatically deal with categorical variables without showing the type conversion error, which helps you to focus on tuning your model better rather than sorting out trivial errors. Make sure you handle missing data well before you proceed with the implementation.

Learn more about Catboost from this article:

Python Code:

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np

from catboost import CatBoostRegressor

#Read training and testing files
train = pd.read_csv("train.csv")
test = pd.read_csv("test.csv")

#Imputing missing values for both train and test
train.fillna(-999, inplace=True)

#Creating a training set for modeling and validation set to check model performance
X = train.drop(['Item_Outlet_Sales'], axis=1)
y = train.Item_Outlet_Sales

from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

X_train, X_validation, y_train, y_validation = train_test_split(X, y, train_size=0.7, random_state=1234)
categorical_features_indices = np.where(X.dtypes != np.float)[0]

#importing library and building model
from catboost import CatBoostRegressormodel=CatBoostRegressor(iterations=50, depth=3, learning_rate=0.1, loss_function='RMSE'), y_train,cat_features=categorical_features_indices,eval_set=(X_validation, y_validation),plot=True)

submission = pd.DataFrame()

submission['Item_Identifier'] = test['Item_Identifier']
submission['Outlet_Identifier'] = test['Outlet_Identifier']
submission['Item_Outlet_Sales'] = model.predict(test)

R Code:





tt <- titanic::titanic_train[complete.cases(titanic::titanic_train),]

data <-, stringsAsFactors = TRUE)

drop_columns = c("PassengerId", "Survived", "Name", "Ticket", "Cabin")

x <- data[,!(names(data) %in% drop_columns)]y <- data[,c("Survived")]

fit_control <- trainControl(method = "cv", number = 4,classProbs = TRUE)

grid <- expand.grid(depth = c(4, 6, 8),learning_rate = 0.1,iterations = 100, l2_leaf_reg = 1e-3,            rsm = 0.95, border_count = 64)

report <- train(x, as.factor(make.names(y)),method = catboost.caret,verbose = TRUE, preProc = NULL,tuneGrid = grid, trControl = fit_control)


importance <- varImp(report, scale = FALSE)


Practice Problems

Now, it’s time to take the plunge and actually play with some other real-world datasets. So are you ready to take on the challenge? Accelerate your data science journey with the following practice problems:

Practice Problem: Food Demand Forecasting ChallengePredict the demand for meals for a meal delivery company
Practice Problem: HR Analytics ChallengeIdentify the employees most likely to get promoted
Practice Problem: Predict Number of UpvotesPredict the number of upvotes on a query asked at an online question & answer platform

End Note

By now, I am sure you would have an idea of commonly used machine learning algorithms. My sole intention behind writing this article and providing the codes in R and Python is to get you started right away. If you are keen to master machine learning algorithms, start right away. Take up problems, develop a physical understanding of the process, apply these codes, and watch the fun!

Key Takeaways

  • We are now familiar with some of the most common ML algorithms used in the industry.
  • We’ve covered the advantages and disadvantages of various ML algorithms.
  • We’ve also learned the basic implementation details in R and Python languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which algorithm is mostly used in machine learning?

A. While the suitable algorithm depends on the problem, gradient-boosted decision trees are mostly used to balance performance and interpretability.

Q2. What is the difference between supervised and unsupervised ML?

A. In the supervised learning model, the labels associated with the features are given. In unsupervised learning, no labels are provided for the model.

Q3. What are the main 3 types of ML models?

A. The 3 main types of ML models are based on Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning, and Reinforcement Learning.

Sunil Ray 19 Mar, 2024

I am a Business Analytics and Intelligence professional with deep experience in the Indian Insurance industry. I have worked for various multi-national Insurance companies in last 7 years.

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Responses From Readers


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Enjoyed the simplicity. Thanks for the effort.

Im_utm 12 Aug, 2015

Great Article... Helps a lot, as naive in Machine Learning.

Sunil Ray
Sunil Ray 14 Aug, 2015

Hi All, Thanks for the comment ...

Dalila 14 Aug, 2015

Very good summary. Thank! One simple point. The reason for taking the log(p/(1-p)) in Logistic Regression is to make the equation linear, I.e., easy to solve.

Statis 19 Aug, 2015

Nice summary! @Huzefa: you shouldn't replace the "~" in the R code, it basically means "as a function of". You can also keep the "." right after, it stands for "all other variables in the dataset provided". If you want to be explicit, you can write y ~ x1 + x2 + ... where x1, x2 .. are the names of the columns of your data.frame or data.table. Further note on formula specification: by default R adds an intercept, so that y ~ x is equivalent to y ~ 1 + x, you can remove it via y ~ 0 + x. Interactions are specified with either * (which also adds the two variables) or : (which only adds the interaction term). y ~ x1 * x2 is equivalent to y ~ x1 + x2 + x1 : x2. Hope this helps!

Chris 26 Aug, 2015

You did a Wonderful job! This is really helpful. Thanks!

Glenn Nelson
Glenn Nelson 10 Sep, 2015

I took the Stanford-Coursera ML class, but have not used it, and I found this to be an incredibly useful summary. I appreciate the real-world analogues, such as your mention of Jezzball. And showing the brief code snips is terrific.

Shankar Pandala
Shankar Pandala 15 Sep, 2015

This is very easy and helpful than any other courses I have completed. simple. clear. To the point.

markpratley 26 Sep, 2015

You Sir are a gentleman and a scholar!

whystatistics 29 Sep, 2015

Hi Sunil, This is really superb tutorial along with good examples and codes which is surely much helpful. Just, can you add Neural Network here in simple terms with example and code.

Sayan Putatunda
Sayan Putatunda 01 Nov, 2015

Errata:- fit <- kmeans(X, 3) # 5 cluster solution It`s a 3 cluster solution.

Baha 27 Nov, 2015

Well done, Thank you!

Benjamin 05 Dec, 2015

This is a great resource overall and surely the product of a lot of work. Just a note as I go through this, your comment on Logistic Regression not actually being regression is in fact wrong. It maps outputs to a continuous variable bound between 0 and 1 that we regard as probability. it makes classification easy but that is still an extra step that requires the choice of a threshold which is not the main aim of Logistic Regression. As a matter of fact it falls under the umbrella of Generalized Libear Models as the glm R package hints it in your code example. I thought this was interesting to note so as not to forget that logistic regression output is richer than 0 or 1. Thanks for the great article overall.

Ashish Yelkar
Ashish Yelkar 06 Jan, 2016

Very Nice.!!

Bansari Shah
Bansari Shah 14 Jan, 2016

Thank you.. reallu helpful article

ayushgg92 22 Jan, 2016

I wanted to know if I can use rattle instead of writing the R code explicitly

Debasis 22 Jan, 2016

Thank you. Very nice and useful article..

Debashis 16 Feb, 2016

This is such a wonderful article.

Anthony 16 Feb, 2016

Informative and easy to follow. I've recently started following several pages like this one and this is the best material ive seen yet.

Akhil 17 Feb, 2016

One of the best content ever read regarding algorithms.

Swathi 17 Feb, 2016

Thank you so much for this article

Nícolas Robles
Nícolas Robles 18 Feb, 2016

Cool stuff! I just can't get the necessary libraries...

wizzerd 26 Feb, 2016

looks sgood article. Do I need any data to do the examples?

Col. Dan Sulzinger
Col. Dan Sulzinger 01 Mar, 2016

Good Article.

Pansy 08 Mar, 2016

I have to thank you for this informative summary. Really useful!

J 10 Mar, 2016

Somewhat irresponsible article since it does not mention any measure of performance and only gives cooking recipes without understanding what algorithm does what and the stats behind it. Cooking recipes like these are the ones that place people in Drew Conway's danger zone (, thus making programmers the worst data analysts (let alone scientists, that requires another mindset completely). I highly recommend anyone wishing to enter into this brave new world not to jump into statistical learning without proper statistical background. Otherwise you could end up like Google, Target, Telefonica, or Google (again) and become a poster boy for "The Big Flops of Big Data".

Robin White
Robin White 15 Mar, 2016

Great article. It really summarize some of the most important topics on machine learning. But as asked above I would like to present as a company with a really good course to learn more depth about machine learning with great professors and a sense of community that is always helping itself to continue learning even after the course ends.

salman ahmed
salman ahmed 19 Mar, 2016

awesome , recommended this article to all my friends

Borun Chowdhury
Borun Chowdhury 21 Apr, 2016

Very succinct description of some important algorithms. Thanks. I'd like to point out a mistake in the SVM section. You say "where each point has two co-ordinates (these co-ordinates are known as Support Vectors)". This is not correct, the coordinates are just features. Its the points lying on the margin that are called the 'support vectors'. These are the points that 'support' the margin i.e. define it (as opposed to a weighted average of all points for instance.)

Isaac 24 May, 2016

Thank you for this wonderful's proven helpful.

Payal gour
Payal gour 11 Jun, 2016

Thank you very much, A Very useful and excellent compilation.

nd 17 Jun, 2016

Very good information interms of initial knowledge Note one warning, many methods can be fitted into a particular problem, but result might not be what you wish. Hence you must always compare models, understand residuals profile and how prediction really predicts. In that sense, analysis of data is never ending. In R, use summary, plot and check for assumptions validity .

Dung Dinh
Dung Dinh 17 Jun, 2016

The amazing article. I'm new in data analysis. It's very useful and easy to understand. Thanks,

sabarikannan 30 Jun, 2016

This is really good article, also if you would have explain about Anomaly dection algorithm that will really helpful for everyone to know , what and where to apply in machine learning....

ankita srivastava
ankita srivastava 05 Jul, 2016

a very very helpful tutorial. Thanks a lot you guys.

Haiyan 07 Jul, 2016

The amazing article

Namala Santosh Kumar
Namala Santosh Kumar 15 Jul, 2016

Analytics Vidhya - I am loving it

Mohammed Abdul Kaleem
Mohammed Abdul Kaleem 16 Jul, 2016

Good article. thank you for explaining with python.

Jacques Gouimenou
Jacques Gouimenou 14 Aug, 2016

very useful compilation. Thanks!

Baseer 18 Aug, 2016

Very precise quick tutorial for those who want to gain insight of machine learning

vishwas 24 Aug, 2016


Ali Kazim
Ali Kazim 28 Aug, 2016

Very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing it.

JS 03 Sep, 2016


Denis 04 Sep, 2016

great summary, Thank you

sanjiv 08 Sep, 2016

Great article. It would have become even better if you had some test data with each code snippet. Add metrics and hyper parameter tunning for each of these models

Faizan 13 Sep, 2016

Thanks for the "jezzball" example. You made my day!

Satya Swarup Dani
Satya Swarup Dani 27 Sep, 2016

Nicely complied. Every explanation is crystal clear and very easy to digest. Thanks for sharing knowledge.

Emerson Moizes
Emerson Moizes 05 Oct, 2016

Perfect! It's exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the explanation and thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

Valery 11 Oct, 2016

Very useful summary. Thank you.

Malini Ramamurthy
Malini Ramamurthy 14 Oct, 2016

Very informative article. For a person new to machine learning, this article gives a good starting point.

Shubham 21 Oct, 2016

Good article. thank you for explaining with python.

Anand Rai
Anand Rai 21 Oct, 2016

Good article. thank you for explaining with python. -- Kareermatrix

ramesh 23 Oct, 2016

Hi Friends, i'm new person to these machine learning algorithms. i have some questions.? 1) we have so many ML algorithms. but how can we choose the algorithms which one is suitable for my data set? 2) How does these algorithms works.? 3) why only these particular algorithms.? why not others.?

Indra 03 Nov, 2016

Nice Article.. Thanks for your effort

RAVI RATHORE 08 Nov, 2016

hello I have to implement machine learning algorithms in python so could you help me in this. any body provide me the proper code for any algorithm.

Raghav 10 Nov, 2016

All programe has error named Error in model.frame.default(formula = as.list(y_train) ~ ., data = x, : invalid type (list) for variable 'as.list(y_train)' What is that ?

Suman 09 Dec, 2016

Very nice summary! Can you tell how to get machine learning problems for practice?

YB 26 Dec, 2016

Do you have R codes based on caret?

Kelly RED
Kelly RED 29 May, 2024

When parents accept, love, and show affection to their children, even when they make mistakes or fall short of expectations