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This is the first comprehensive introduction to Support Vector Machines (SVMs), a new generation learning system based on recent advances in statistical learning theory. Students will find the book both stimulating and accessible, while practitioners will be guided smoothly through the material required for a good grasp of the theory and its applications. The concepts are introduced gradually in accessible and self-contained stages, while the presentation is rigorous and thorough. Pointers to relevant literature and web sites containing software make it an ideal starting point for further study.
Kernel methods provide a powerful and unified framework for pattern discovery, motivating algorithms that can act on general types of data (e. g. strings, vectors or text) and look for general types of relations (e. g. rankings, classifications, regressions, clusters). The application areas range from neural networks and pattern recognition to machine learning and data mining. This book, developed from lectures and tutorials, fulfils two major roles: firstly it provides practitioners with a large toolkit of algorithms, kernels and solutions ready to use for standard pattern discovery problems in fields such as bioinformatics, text analysis, image analysis. Secondly it provides an easy introduction for students and researchers to the growing field of kernel-based pattern analysis, demonstrating with examples how to handcraft an algorithm or a kernel for a new specific application, and covering all the necessary conceptual and mathematical tools to do so.
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