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Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning by David Barber

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8

Statistics for machine learning

In this chapter we discuss some classical distributions and their manipulations. In previous chapters we’ve assumed that we know the distributions and have concentrated on the inference problem. In machine learning we will typically not fully know the distributions and need to learn them from available data. This means we need familiarity with standard distributions, for which the data will later be used to set the parameters.

8.1   Representing data

The numeric encoding of data can have a significant effect on performance and an understanding of the options for representing data is therefore of considerable importance. We briefly outline three central encodings below.

8.1.1   Categorical

For categorical (or ...

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