What is Regression?

A statistical approach that estimates the relationships among variables and predicts future outcomes or items in a continuous data set by solving for the pattern of past inputs, such as linear regression in statistics. Regression is foundational to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Today data scientists use many kinds of machine learning algorithms to discover patterns in big data that lead to actionable insights. At a high level, these different algorithms can be classified into two groups based on the way they “learn” about data to make predictions: supervised and unsupervised learning.

Supervised Machine Learning

Most of the practical machine learning uses supervised learning. Supervised learning is where you have input variables (x) and an output variable (Y) and you use an algorithm to learn the mapping function from the input to the output Y = f(X). The goal is to approximate the mapping function so well that when you have new input data (x) that you can predict the output variables (Y) for that data.

Techniques of Supervised Machine Learning algorithms include linear and logistic regressionmulti-class classificationDecision Trees, and support vector machines. Supervised learning requires that the data used to train the algorithm is already labeled with correct answers. For example, a classification algorithm will learn to identify animals after being trained on a dataset of images that are properly labeled with the species of the animal and some identifying characteristics.
Supervised learning problems can be further grouped into Regression and Classification problems. Both problems have as a goal the construction of a succinct model that can predict the value of the dependent attribute from the attribute variables. The difference between the two tasks is the fact that the dependent attribute is numerical for regression and categorical for classification.


A regression problem is when the output variable is a real or continuous value, such as “salary” or “weight”. Many different models can be used, the simplest is the linear regression. It tries to fit data with the best hyper-plane which goes through the points.


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