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Series Foreword / Preface / Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / References

 

One of the most exciting recent developments in machine learning is the discovery and elaboration of kernel methods for classification and regression. These algorithms combine three important ideas into a very successful whole. From mathematical programming, they exploit quadratic programming algorithms for convex optimization; from mathematical analysis, they borrow the idea of kernel representations; and from machine learning theory, they adopt the objective of finding the maximum-margin classifier. After the initial development of support vector machines, there has been an explosion of kernel-based methods. Ralf Herbrich's Learning Kernel Classifiers is an authoritative treatment of support vector machines and related kernel classification and regression methods. The book examines these methods both from an algorithmic perspective and from the point of view of learning theory. The book's extensive appendices provide pseudo-code for all of the algorithms and proofs for all of the theoretical results. The outcome is a volume that will be a valuable classroom textbook as well as a reference for researchers in this exciting area.

The goal of building systems that can adapt to their environment and learn from their experience has attracted researchers from many fields, including computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, neuroscience, and cognitive science. Out of this research has come a wide variety of learning techniques that have the potential to transform many scientific and industrial fields. Recently, several research communities have begun to converge on a common set of issues surrounding supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning problems. The MIT Press series on Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning seeks to unify the many diverse strands of machine learning research and to foster high quality research and innovative applications.

Thomas Dietterich