What is Support Vector Machines (SVM)?

Support Vector Machines (SVM) is a discriminative classifier formally defined by a separating hyperplane. In other words, given labeled training data (supervised learning), the algorithm outputs an optimal hyperplane which categorizes new examples. More formally, a support vector machine constructs a hyperplane or set of hyperplanes in a high- or infinite-dimensional space, which can be used for classification, regression, or other tasks. Intuitively, a good separation is achieved by the hyperplane that has the largest distance to the nearest training-data point of any class (so-called functional margin), since in general the larger the margin the lower the generalization error of the classifier. SVMs are helpful in text and hypertext categorization as their application can significantly reduce the need for labeled training instances in both the standard inductive and transductive settings. Classification of images can also be performed using SVMs. Experimental results show that SVMs achieve significantly higher search accuracy than traditional query refinement schemes after just three to four rounds of relevance feedback. This is also true of image segmentation systems, including those using a modified version SVM that uses the privileged approach.

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