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Feature Extraction

What is Feature Extraction?

Feature extraction is a process of dimensionality reduction by which an initial set of raw data is reduced to more manageable groups for processing. A characteristic of these large data sets is a large number of variables that require a lot of computing resources to process. Feature extraction is the name for methods that select and /or combine variables into features, effectively reducing the amount of data that must be processed, while still accurately and completely describing the original data set.

Why is this Useful?

The process of feature extraction is useful when you need to reduce the number of resources needed for processing without losing important or relevant information. Feature extraction can also reduce the amount of redundant data for a given analysis. Also, the reduction of the data and the machine’s efforts in building variable combinations (features) facilitate the speed of learning and generalization steps in the machine learning process.

Practical Uses of Feature Extraction

  • Autoencoders

    – The purpose of autoencoders is unsupervised learning of efficient data coding. Feature extraction is used here to identify key features in the data for coding by learning from the coding of the original data set to derive new ones.

  • Bag-of-Words

    – A technique for natural language processing that extracts the words (features) used in a sentence, document, website, etc. and classifies them by frequency of use. This technique can also be applied to image processing.

  • Image Processing – Algorithms are used to detect features such as shaped, edges, or motion in a digital image or video.