Machine Learning is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence where computers learn supervised or unsupervised, from a collection of data using algorithms. Computers learn themselves through experience, just like human beings.

Machine learning can be used to explain an event based on the features, to make predictions of future events, or to give suggestions on the actions to be taken. The primary requirement for Machine Learning to happen is data that is relevant to the output we expect. Let us consider the prediction of the housing prices. Here, the data set can be the size of the house, the number of bedrooms, the locality, the age of the building and so on. These data are called “features”.


With the help of an appropriate algorithm, the computer learns or trains itself to find patterns and predict the price of houses based on the features. 

The number of features in a dataset is called its dimensionality. If data is presented in rows and columns, the columns represent the number of dimensions. A dataset with a huge number of features is called high-dimensional data. Ideally, as we increase the number of features, the accuracy of the output should improve. On the contrary, complex computational models, diminished prediction accuracy, difficulties in data analysis, and overall poor performance are some of the challenges associated with high dimensional data. This set of problems is termed as the “curse of dimensionality”. 

Dimensionality Reduction and its Techniques:

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In order to lift this curse, techniques like dimensionality reduction are implemented. Dimensionality reduction refers to the process of transforming high-dimensional data into low-dimensional data without the loss of meaningful properties in the dataset. Two major approaches to achieve dimensionality reduction are Feature selection and Feature extraction.

Feature Selection:

Feature selection aims to identify and remove redundant and irrelevant features, otherwise known as noise data, from the high dimensional dataset without sacrificing the data quality. In simple words, in this method, a subset of the original features are chosen. This prevents the computational model from overfitting – an unwanted behaviour where the model gives accurate results for the data used while training but performs poorly for a new set of data. With the help of feature selection, the accuracy of predictions can be improved, the computational time can be reduced and also make the features easy to organise and understand. Three ways of feature selection are:

Filter methods: These methods are used to identify and select relevant features based on their statistical properties. They assess individual features independently and rank or filter them according to certain criteria, such as statistical significance. Filter methods can be used to distinguishing between spam and non-spam emails by filtering relevant words or phrases. In Image processing, the filter method can be applied to select important features or pixels that contribute the most to the classification of objects or patterns.

Wrapper methods: These methods involve creating multiple models with different feature subsets and selecting the subset that results in the best model performance based on a chosen evaluation criterion. Wrapper methods are computationally more intensive than filter methods but can lead to more accurate feature selection suited to the performance of a particular learning algorithm. In medical field, the wrapper method helps in selecting important features from molecular datasets to identify potential drug candidates or understand the structure-activity relationships in chemical compounds. They also find applications In genomics research, for identifying subset of genetic markers or features that are most relevant for predicting disease outcomes or understanding genetic mutations.

Embedded methods: These methods automatically select the most relevant features while the model is being trained, often by employing regularization techniques like Lasso that limits the influence of irrelevant features. Embedded methods are efficient and can contribute to better model performance by focusing on the most informative features during the learning process. In supervised learning tasks, embedded methods improve prediction accuracy and reduces overfitting. One application is in computer vision tasks, where features important for image classification or object detection are automatically identified and emphasized during the training of convolutional neural networks (CNNs).

Feature Extraction:

Feature extraction is a technique that reduces the space occupied by data by collecting useful data from a high-dimensional dataset and converting it into low-dimensional data. There are two types of feature extraction methods – linear and non linear. Selection of a method depends on the nature of the data and the desired results. Some common feature extraction methods are:

Principal Component Analysis: PCA uses statistical methods to reduce the size of large datasets by creating new features called Principal components. These Principal components are linear functions of the initial data. In medical imaging, PCA helps to reduce the size of the input features like MRI or CT scan. This helps to identify features that are relevant for disease diagnosis more quickly.

Linear Discriminant Analysis: This powerful method is a proven linear classification technique that effectively identifies linear combinations within input data to significantly enhance the distinction between various data categories. In real life situations, Linear Discriminant Analysis is key in facial recognition by sorting facial data. Companies rely on this method to forecast bankruptcy by analyzing accounting ratios and financial info.

Kernel PCA: Kernel PCA is a nonlinear form of traditional PCA. It uses a kernel function to map the input data to a higher dimensional space. This allows it to capture complex non-linear relationships within the data. By converting data into higher dimensional space, kernel PCA can uncover more complex patterns that might not be visible in the original data space. In speech processing, kernel PCA captures non-linear relationships between the input features and improves speech recognition systems. Finance industries use this method in portfolio management and risk assessment. It also comes in handy for analyzing climate data to help scientists grasp the complex connections between climate-related factors.

Autoencoders: Autoencoders are pretty handy in the world of artificial neural networks. They’re great for unsupervised learning and reducing dimensions. With an encoder to compress input data and a decoder to bring it back, they’re perfect for feature learning, getting rid of noise, and creating new data samples. They are also utilized in anomaly detection in sensor data for identifying and isolating faulty components by learning normal patterns in the data.

Benefits of Dimensionality Reduction:

Some of the benefits of implementing Dimensionality Reduction in machine learning, data analysis, etc are:

Improvement in Efficiency: Eliminating irrelevant or redundant features, reduces the computational complexities and reduction of resources required. This leads to faster training and inference times for machine learning models.

Visualization: Reducing data to a lower-dimensional space allows for easier visualization and interpretation of complex patterns. It helps in understanding the inherent structure and relationships within the data.

Prevention of Overfitting: It can help in removing irrelevant or redundant features, thus reducing the noise in the data. This, in turn, can prevent overfitting.

Reduction of Storage: It facilitates data compression,which reduces the storage space for datasets. This is particularly useful in situations where storage resources are limited.

It’s important to note that while there are many benefits, dimensionality reduction should be applied judiciously, as it might lead to information loss, especially if not carefully handled. Selecting the appropriate feature extraction method is crucial, and there is no universally applicable approach. This decision often requires domain-specific expertise. Also, some of the feature extraction methods can be computationally expensive, especially on large datasets, which means huge amount of resources, time, memory etc will be needed.

Why Learn about Dimensional Reduction?

Learning about Dimensionality Reduction techniques may help you advance in your journey to becoming a Data Scientist or pursuing a career in Artificial Intelligence. Henry Harvin’s Artificial Intelligence course is designed to make you an expert in AI & Machine Learning theories and master AI techniques through global-centric, action-oriented (GCAO) pedagogy. The course benefits also include hands-on training on CAIP course, Capstone Projects across different domains and guaranteed internship at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Discover the possibilities of AI and equip yourself with the skills that will shape the world of tomorrow. Join us at Henry Harvin and be at the forefront of innovation, where your curiosity meets the limitless potential of artificial intelligence.

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Frequently asked questions

Q.1 Why is dimensionality reduction significant in artificial intelligence?

Ans. AI models rely on the data they learn from. However, large volumes of data can confuse the system impact the efficiency of artificial intelligence systems. By reducing the size of data without compromising its essence, dimensionality reduction speeds up the learning process and improves the decision-making capabilities of AI models.

Q.2 What learning will I get from a course on dimensionality reduction and artificial intelligence?

Ans. Diving into one of these courses will teach you how to streamline complex data into something AI can easily digest. You’re not just learning algorithms; you’re mastering the art of making smart computer programs even smarter. From predicting trends to recognizing patterns and decoding languages, this course equips you with the tools to build AI models that are not just functional but formidable.

Q.3 Do I need a Math wizard’s hat to tackle one of these courses?

Ans. Not at all! While basic understanding of Math (think high school level algebra and stats) can give you a head start, these courses are crafted to lift you from the basics all the way up to the techniques of simplifying data. With a mix of visual aids and hands-on exercises, complex concepts will start to feel simpler. So, you won’t just survive the Math; you’ll thrive.

Q.4 How long will it take me to become a dimensionality reduction and AI expert?

Ans. The journey varies—a few weeks to a few months. Regardless of the pace, you’re on a path to mastering skills that are in high demand. So, whether you’re diving deep fast or taking the scenic route, you’re building a foundation that’s rock solid.

Q.5 Can I really build my own AI models after taking such a course?

Ans. Yes, Of course. By the end of these courses, you will be applying dimensionality reduction techniques to prep data like a pro and build AI models that can tackle actual problems. These courses are not just stepping stones; they are a launchpad to your career in Artificial Intelligence.

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