Support Vector Machine In Machine Learning Algorithms

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Apr 08, 2022

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What is a Support Vector Machine(SVM)?

Support vector machines (SVMs) are supervised machine learning algorithms that may be used to classify and predict data. They are, nevertheless, most typically used in classification problems. SVMs were first introduced in the 1960s, but they were improved in the 1990s. SVMs have a different implementation strategy than other machine learning algorithms. Because of their ability to handle both continuous and categorical data, they have recently garnered much attention.

This is one of the fundamentals of Data Science Certification, and a strong understanding of the basic principles can help you better understand machine learning and data science. Here, we will see what is SVM in machine learning and how it is used. 

Support vectors are just the coordinates of each observation. The SVM classifier is a frontier that distinguishes between the two most effective classes (hyper-plane and line). SVM is also an integral part of data science online training classes as they have a close relation to machine learning. Support Vector Machine is also a useful tool explored in the data science certification course.

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Working of Support Vector Machine(SVM)

In multidimensional space, an SVM model is essentially a representation of distinct classes in a hyperplane. SVM will generate the hyperplane iteratively to reduce the error. SVM's purpose is to partition datasets into classes such that a maximum marginal hyperplane may be found (MMH).

The principles listed below are crucial in SVM.

  • Datapoints that are closest to the hyperplane are referred to as support vectors. These data points will define a separating line.
  • A hyperplane is a decision plane or space split between a group of objects with distinct classes, as seen in the picture above.
  • The space between two lines on the nearest data points of different classes is known as the margin. The perpendicular distance between the line and the support vectors may be computed. A large margin is a good margin, whereas a small margin is regarded as a bad margin.

You will explore more into SVM machine learning in your data science course.

Types of SVMs 

SVM (Simple Support Vector Machine): This is an SVM commonly used for linear regression and classification issues.

Kernel SVM: Has more flexibility for non-linear data since it can fit a hyperplane instead of a two-dimensional space with more features.

Why Are SVMs Used in Machine Learning?

Handwriting recognition, intrusion detection, face detection, email categorization, gene classification, and web page classification employ SVM machine learning. One of the reasons we employ SVMs in machine learning is this. On both linear and non-linear data, it can do classification and regression.

Another reason we utilize SVMs in machine learning is because they can uncover intricate associations between your data without requiring you to perform many manual modifications. Because of their capacity to handle tiny, complicated datasets usually produces more accurate results than other algorithms. SVM is an integral tool in data science applications.

Pros and Cons of Using SVMs


  • Datasets with varied properties, such as financial or medical data, are effective.
  • This strategy is useful when the number of features exceeds the number of data points.
  • Support vectors are a subset of training points utilized in the decision function, which helps it retain its memory.
  • Several kernel functions can be used for the decision function. Standard kernels can be used. However, custom kernels can also be provided.


  • While the number of features exceeds the number of data points, over-fitting must be avoided when choosing kernel functions and regularisation terms.
  • SVMs do not directly provide probability estimates. A time-consuming five-fold cross-validation approach is used to calculate these.
  • It works well with small sample sets because of the extended training period.

SVM Kernels

The SVM technique converts an input data space into the desired format using a kernel. The kernel technique is a strategy used by SVM to transform a low-dimensional input space into a higher-dimensional one. Kernel, in simple words, adds new dimensions to non-separable issues to make them separable. It increases SVM's power, flexibility, and accuracy. SVM uses several different kernels, which are given below.

Linear Kernel

It may be used to connect any two observations as a dot product. The linear kernel formula is as follows:


The product of two vectors says, x & xi, is the sum of the multiplication of each pair of input values, as shown in the formula above.

Polynomial Kernel

It's a more generalized linear kernel that can discriminate between curved and non-linear input spaces. The polynomial kernel formula is as follows:


The degree of a polynomial, which must be specified manually in the learning method, is denoted by d.

Radial Basis Function (RBF) Kernel

The RBF kernel, commonly used in SVM classification, transforms input space into an indefinite dimensional space. The formula below describes it mathematically:


Gamma, in this case, ranges from 0 to 1. We must declare it in the learning algorithm. The default gamma setting is 0.1, which is great to start.

We can develop SVM for not linearly separable data using Python, exactly as we did for linearly separable data. This can be done with kernels.

Solutions to Real-World Issues

Real real-world datasets have certain common challenges because of how huge they may be, the many data kinds they include, and how much computer power they can require to train a model.

When it comes to SVMs, there are a few aspects to keep in mind:

  • Make certain that your data is numerical rather than categorical. SVMs demand numbers rather than other sorts of labeling.
  • Avoid copying data as much as possible. Several Python modules will replicate your data if it isn't in a specific format. Copies of data will extend your training time and skew how your model assigns weights to distinct attributes.
  • Because it makes use of your RAM, it monitors the size of your kernel cache. If you have a large dataset, this might cause problems for your system.
  • Scale your data since SVM methods are not scale-invariant. All of your data may be in the [0, 1] or [-1, 1] range.

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Machine learning is comparable to any other type of software development. Several pieces of software make it easy to get the data you need without a solid background in statistics. An SVM model represents separate classes in a hyperplane in a multidimensional space. To minimize the inaccuracy, SVM will create the hyperplane repeatedly. The goal of SVM is to divide datasets into classes such that a maximum marginal hyperplane may be discovered (MMH).

SVM is one of the tools that make up the vast subject of data science. Many data science certification courses deal with SVM and machine learning. If you are looking to attain a Data Science Certification, you need to have a basic idea of SVM and its working principles. 

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