How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

algorithms for machine learning

How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?


How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

How to Choose the Right Algorithms for Machine Learning?

Algorithms for machine learning are the heart of artificial intelligence. They are a set of rules that help machines learn patterns and make predictions based on data.

In simple words, algorithms for machine learning help computers learn from past experiences to make better decisions in the future! This technology is constantly revolutionizing many industries.

In this blog, I will explain the pros & cons of famous algorithms for machine learning. This will help you in deciding how to choose the right algorithms. So, let’s dive in and explore this exciting topic together!


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Supervised Learning Algorithms for machine learning

To start our journey of exploring algorithms for machine learning, we will first delve into supervised learning algorithms.

These algorithms are trained on labeled data, meaning that the input data is already labeled with the correct output. By learning from this labeled data, supervised learning algorithms are able to make predictions on new, unseen data. 

Supervised learning algorithms is divided into following

  1. Classification 
  2. Regression

There are many algorithms that fall under these 2 categories.



To read about the importance of machine learning in Data Science please read our article on Data Science


Linear Regression

Predicting a continuous target variable from one or more input characteristics is the goal of linear regression, a supervised learning process.

Linear regression seeks to explain the connection between input characteristics and the outcome variable by fitting a linear model to the data. Key features of linear regression include:

  • The input characteristics and the dependent variable are assumed to have a linear relationship in linear regression.
  • Univariate (one input feature) and multivariate (many input characteristics) linear regression models exist.

Linear regression models can be further divided into simple linear regression and multiple linear regression based on the number of input traits used.


How does linear regression work?

Linear regression models are constructed by minimizing the difference between the actual target variable and the predicted target variable using a cost function.

The cost function measures the difference between the predicted target variable and the actual target variable for each data point in the training set. Finding the linear equation’s coefficients that minimize the sum of squared errors is the aim of optimization.


To perform linear regression, we use the following equation:

y = mx + b


  • y is dependent variable (output)
  • x is an independent variable (input)
  • m is slope of the line
  • b is y-intercept (the value of y when x = 0)

By adjusting the values of m and b, linear regression attempts to minimize the gap between the anticipated and observed data.


Use of Linear Regression 

A few examples of applications for linear regression are:

  • Estimating the value of a home depending on its characteristics (square footage, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, etc.).
  • Estimating a worker’s pay using information about their degree, years of service, job, etc.
  • Estimating potential product sales given certain variables such as marketing expenditures, selling price, etc.


Advantages of linear regression

  • Linear regression is an easy to understand algorithm.
  • It is efficient and can be used for very large datasets.
  • It can handle both numerical and categorical input features.


Limitations of linear regression

  • Linear regression assumes a linear relationship between the input features and the target variable, which may not always hold true.
  • It is sensitive to outliers and they can easily influence it.
  • It may not perform well when the input features have higher percentage of correlation.


Logistic Regression

The next in line of the regression algorithms for machine learning is Logistic Regression. We use Logistic regression in a case where the dependent variable is binary. It predicts the probability of an event occurring, based on the input variables.

How Logistic regression works

  • uses the logistic function to map the input values to a probability value between 0 and 1
  • uses a threshold value to classify the input values into one of the two classes.

Similar to linear regression, logistic regression predicts a chance between 0 and 1 that an input belongs to a certain class rather than a continuous output. The threshold is generally 0.5. if an input is greater than 0.5, it’s positive. And if it is less than 0.5, it’s negative.


Overfitting may occur in logistic regression, just as it does in linear regression. To avoid overfitting, regularization methods such as L1 and L2 regularization might be applied.


Use cases and benefits of logistic regression

  • Used to solve binary classification issues, including spam detection, credit scoring, and medical diagnosis.
  • An algorithm that is both simple and efficient
  • Provides a probability value for the forecast, which may be beneficial in certain cases.
  • When compared to linear regression:
  • For continuous data, linear regression is employed, whereas logistic regression is utilized for binary variables.
  • Linear regression predicts the dependent variable’s value, but logistic regression predicts the likelihood of an event happening.

For binary classification issues, logistic regression is a helpful approach. It returns a probability value for the forecast, which might be beneficial in certain cases. 


Unsupervised Learning Algorithms for machine learning

Unsupervised learning algorithms don’t have a target. They work without supervision. The model learns by finding patterns. It makes decisions based on similarities.

The algorithms cluster data into groups. This is known as clustering.

Unsupervised learning algorithms help identify outliers. They detect data that doesn’t fit. The algorithms can also perform dimensionality reduction. This simplifies the data.


Some of the popular unsupervised learning algorithms are…

  • Clustering
  • association rule learning
  • dimensionality reduction

Each of these algorithms has its own unique strengths and use cases. In the following subsections, we will explore these algorithms in more detail and see how they can be used in various applications. 



One of the most important types of unsupervised learning algorithms is clustering. It helps in grouping similar data points together in a dataset. There are mainly two types of clustering: k-means & hierarchical clustering.

K-Means Clustering

K-means clustering is a method that partitions the data into k clusters, where each cluster represents a group of similar data points. The algorithm works by selecting k initial centroids, which are points that are representative of the data.

Then, the algorithm assigns each data point to the closest centroid, creating k clusters. The centroids are then updated by computing the mean of the data points in each cluster, and the algorithm repeats until the centroids no longer move significantly.

K-means clustering is a popular algorithm due to its simplicity and speed. Industries mostly use it in data mining, image processing, and market segmentation.


Hierarchical Clustering

With hierarchical clustering, clusters are nested within one another to form a tree structure. Each data point is first treated as a cluster by the algorithm, and related clusters are merged. Hierarchical clustering has 2 types; they are…

  1. a) Agglomerative clustering
  2. b) divisive hierarchical clustering


Each data point is first represented by its own cluster in an agglomerative clustering method, which then progressively combines clusters most similar.

The method for divisive clustering starts with all data points in a single cluster, then separates them into smaller clusters until each data point belongs to its own cluster.


Clustering is widely used in various fields like market research, image segmentation, anomaly detection, and many more. Its advantages include:

  • Easy to implement and interpret
  • Helps in identifying hidden patterns in the data
  • Doesn’t require any historic knowledge of the dataset


Association Rule Learning

A type of unsupervised learning that focuses on identifying relationships between variables in large datasets is Association Rule Learning. Industries often use this technique in market basket analysis, where it helps identify patterns of items that are frequently purchased together.

How Association Rule Learning Works

Association Rule Learning works by identifying patterns or rules in data that indicate strong associations between variables. The most commonly used algorithm for Association Rule Learning is the Apriori algorithm, which uses a bottom-up approach to generate frequent itemsets from the dataset.

Use Cases and Advantages of Association Rule Learning

Association Rule Learning has several use cases in various industries, including:

  • Retail: We can use Association Rule Learning to identify which products are frequently bought together, which can help retailers to optimize store layouts and product placement.
  • Healthcare: We can use Association Rule Learning to identify patterns in patient data that could lead to better diagnoses and treatments.
  • Finance: We can use Association Rule Learning to identify patterns in financial transactions that could indicate fraudulent activity.


The advantages of Association Rule Learning include:

  • Identifying hidden patterns: Association Rule Learning can uncover patterns in data that may not be immediately apparent, leading to new insights and discoveries.
  • Easy to use: Association Rule Learning algorithms are relatively easy to implement and are usable on a wide variety of datasets.
  • Fast processing: Association Rule Learning algorithms can process large datasets quickly and efficiently, making it a valuable tool for businesses with large amounts of data.


Reinforcement Learning Algorithms for machine learning

Reinforcement learning is an advanced machine learning technique that allows an agent to learn through interactions with an environment. In this type of learning, the algorithm receives feedback in the form of rewards or punishments for the actions it takes.

The goal of reinforcement learning is to learn a policy that maximizes the cumulative reward over time. It has a wide range of applications in various fields, including robotics, gaming, and finance.


Deep Reinforcement Learning 

A subfield of RL that makes use of neural networks to learn new and challenging activities is Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL). In DRL, an agent interacts with an environment, receiving feedback through rewards or penalties, and tries to learn a policy that maximizes the cumulative reward over time.


The key difference between DRL and traditional reinforcement learning is that DRL uses neural networks to approximate the optimal policy. In contrast, traditional RL methods store the state-action values using a table.


Use cases and advantages of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL)

  • Robotics: DRL has been successfully applied to teach robots complex tasks, such as grasping objects, locomotion, and even playing table tennis.
  • Games: DRL has shown remarkable performance in playing complex games, such as AlphaGo, which defeated a human champion in the game of Go.
  • Autonomous driving: DRL can be used to train autonomous vehicles to navigate complex environments and make decisions in real-time.
  • Resource optimization: DRL can be used to optimize resource allocation in various domains, such as energy management, scheduling, and routing.


The advantages of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL)

  • Flexibility: DRL can learn from raw sensory input, which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Scalability: DRL can learn from large datasets and can handle high-dimensional input, making it suitable for complex tasks.
  • Robustness: DRL can adapt to changes in the environment and can generalize to new situations.


Overall, DRL is a powerful approach to solving complex decision-making problems, especially in domains where traditional optimization techniques fall short.


Other Algorithms for Machine Learning

There are many more algorithms for machine learning other than those mentioned above. There is a broad variety of uses for these algorithms due to their varied skills, strengths, and limits. 

Here are a few examples of algorithms…

  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA)
  • Singular Value Decomposition (SVD)
  • Ensemble Learning
  • Decision Trees
  • Random Forest
  • Gradient Boosting
  • Naive Bayes

These algorithms don’t neatly fall under any of the above categories. All of these algorithms come with their own set of perks and have different types of uses.


Neural Networks

A class of machine learning algorithms called neural networks takes their cues from the human brain. Training and optimization allow them to pick up on subtle data connections and patterns.

Numerous Forms of Neural Networks:

  • In Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), image recognition tasks like object identification and categorization are among the most popular uses.
  • Researchers developed a recurrent neural network (RNN) that can learn to produce new sequences by evaluating the input data, making it perfect for sequential material such as text and music.
  • Features and applications:
  • Some of the many successful applications of neural networks include NLP, CV, speech recognition, and even autonomous vehicles.
  • When learning complex and abstract patterns in data, neural networks are superior to traditional algorithms.

Neural network applications in prediction, classification, and data generation may find value in various sectors, from banking and healthcare to arts and entertainment.


Decision Trees

Decision trees are a typical form of supervised learning algorithm used in machine learning. They are a popular option since they are simple to comprehend and interpret. Decision trees are basically flowcharts, and we use them to make choices based on a set of rules.


How decision trees work

Decision trees work by breaking down a dataset into smaller and smaller subsets while at the same time building a decision tree incrementally. The tree is built by splitting the dataset based on the feature that provides the most information gain or the best split.

This process is repeated until a stopping criterion is met, such as a predefined maximum depth of the tree, or when the leaves are pure.

Decision tree types

There are several varieties of decision trees, such as:

  1. Random Forests: When multiple decision trees mix together and construct another decision tree, they form a random forest. If you want to increase accuracy while minimizing the danger of overfitting, you use random forest.
  2. Classifiers Based on Decision Trees: Decision tree classifiers are used to categorize data into many groups. They operate by traversing the decision tree and categorizing the data at each node depending on the rules.


Benefits and applications of Decision Trees

  1. There are various applications for decision trees…
  2. We often use decision trees for predictive modeling in finance, marketing, and healthcare sectors.
  3. They also help diagnose problems in disciplines such as medicine and engineering.


The following are some of the benefits of decision trees.

  1. Decision trees are simple to understand, which makes them a popular option for many machine learning applications.
  2. Non Parametric: Decision trees are non parametric, which means they make no assumptions about the data’s distribution.
  3. Handle Missing Values: Decision trees are capable of dealing with missing values in data, which is a prevalent issue in many machine learning applications.
  4. Decision Trees Can manage Numerical and Categorical Data: Decision trees can manage numerical and categorical data.


How to choose Algorithms for machine learning

The world of machine learning awaits, and you’re ready to start constructing models, but how do you choose which method to use? Relax, we’ve got this covered for you. Let’s see some factors to choose a right machine learning algorithm.


The amount and quality of data

The amount and quality of the data are two factors that you should take into consideration while choosing algorithms for machine learning.

If your dataset is very huge, for instance, you may benefit from using scalable methods like gradient boosting or deep learning. However, decision trees and k-nearest neighbors may be better options for analyzing a smaller dataset.


Kind of data used

One must also take into account the kind of the data they are dealing with. Convolutional neural networks and recurrent neural networks are two popular options for processing data, especially when dealing with images and audio.

In a similar vein, the bag-of-words model and Word2Vec are both useful natural language processing tools for analyzing textual information.


Presidion and human understanding of the algorithm

The algorithm’s precision and human understandability are other crucial features to look out for. Although decision trees and other similarly intuitive algorithms are often quite accurate, this is not always the case.

When compared, deep learning algorithms may be more accurate but are more difficult to explain.


Speed and Scalability

The algorithm’s speed and scalability are other crucial factors to think about. Random forests and support vector machines are two such techniques that might be useful if you have a huge dataset and require predictions quickly.

However, if you’re short on processing power, linear regression and other straightforward methods may be better bets.


Issue Type / Type of Application

Type of Issue: When choosing an algorithm, it’s also important to consider the nature of the problem at hand. Logistic regression and support vector machines, for instance, may be appropriate for a binary classification task.

However, linear regression and random forests may be better options for solving a regression problem.

In conclusion, it is crucial to think about all these points mentioned above when selecting algorithms for machine learning projects. Incorporating these considerations into your algorithm selection will help your machine learning project succeed.



Machine learning projects depend on algorithm selection. Always take into consideration the issue’s nature, data, accuracy, speed, and algorithmic capabilities when choosing algorithms for machine learning.

A convolutional neural network can identify pictures using a lot of labeled data. However, a decision tree algorithm like Random Forests may be better for predicting with a small dataset.

Selecting the right algorithm improves prediction accuracy and reduces model training time and resources. It may also prevent overfitting and underfitting, improving model reliability.

In conclusion, picking the correct algorithms for machine learning for your project and knowing its pros & cons is crucial for accurate and dependable outcomes. Before choosing an algorithm, consider the problem’s and data’s requirements and constraints and carefully evaluate and compare them.




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