Support Vector Machine (SVM)

What is Support Vector Machine?

Support Vector Machine are supervised machine learning algorithms used mainly for classification and regression tasks. If a SVM is used for classification, it’s called Support Vector Classifier (SVC). Similarly, for regression it’s called Support Vector Regressor (SVR)

Where is SVM used?

SVM can be used wherever we use other machine learning techniques such as Logistic Regression, Decision Trees, Linear Regression, Naive Bayes Classifier etc. However, SVM may be particularly more suitable for following cases-

  • Sparse data
  • High Dimensional data
  • Text Classification
  • Data is nonlinear
  • Image classification
  • Data has complex patterns
  • Etc.

How does an SVM work?

A support vector machine, works to separate the pattern in the data by drawing a linear separable hyperplane in high dimensional space. For example in the 2D image below, we need to separate the green points from the red points. We can draw many hyperplanes such as H1, H2, H3 and H4. They all help in separating the points.


However, since there are many possible hyperplanes as denoted in the image below, which hyperplane should be chosen? The answer is- the plane which maximizes the separation between the green and the red points. In this case, it happens to be H3.

What happens if the data is not linearly separable?

Kernel trick or Kernel function helps transform the original non-linearly separable data into a higher dimension space where it can be linearly transformed. See image below-


What is the best hyperplane?

As we discussed earlier, the best hyperplane is the one that maximizes the distance (you can think about the width of the road) between the classes as shown below


How to build this in Python?


Here is an excellent link for the hyper-parameter optimisation-

For more info on sklearn library, refer below links-

Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “Support Vector Machine (SVM)

  1. Pingback: Learn Data Science using Python Step by Step | RP’s Blog on Data Science

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s