Teach R to see by Borrowing a Brain


It has been an old dream to teach a computer to see, i.e. to hold something in front of a camera and let the computer tell you what it sees. For decades it has been exactly that: a dream – because we as human beings are able to see, we just don’t know how we do it, let alone be precise enough to put it into algorithmic form.

Enter machine learning!
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Data Science on Rails: Analyzing Customer Churn

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is not only about acquiring new customers but especially about retaining existing ones. That is because acquisition is often much more expensive than retention. In this post, we learn how to analyze the reasons of customer churn (i.e. customers leaving the company). We do this with a very convenient point-and-click interface for doing data science on top of R, so read on!
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Extracting basic Plots from Novels: Dracula is a Man in a Hole


In 1965 the University of Chicago rejected Kurt Vonnegut’s college thesis, which claimed that all stories shared common structures, or “shapes”, including “Man in a Hole”, “Boy gets Girl” and “Cinderella”. Many years later the then already legendary Vonnegut gave a hilarious lecture on this idea – before continuing to read on please watch it here (about 4 minutes):
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Understanding Blockchain Technology by building one in R

By now you will know that it is a good tradition of this blog to explain stuff by rebuilding toy examples of it in R (see e.g. Understanding the Maths of Computed Tomography (CT) scans, So, what is AI really? or Google’s Eigenvector… or how a Random Surfer finds the most relevant Webpages). This time we will do the same for the hyped Blockchain technology, so read on!
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Finding free Science Books from Springer


Today the biggest book fair of the world starts again in Frankfurt, Germany. I thought this might be a good opportunity to do you some good!

Springer is one of the most renowned scientific publishing companies in the world. Normally, their books are quite expensive but also in the publishing business Open Access is a megatrend.

If you want to use R in a little fun project to find the latest additions of open access books to their program read on!
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Cambridge Analytica: Microtargeting or How to catch voters with the LASSO


The two most disruptive political events of the last few years are undoubtedly the Brexit referendum to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump. Both are commonly associated with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and a technique known as Microtargeting.

If you want to understand the data science behind the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal and Microtargeting (i.e. LASSO regression) by building a toy example in R read on!
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Learning Data Science: The Supermarket knows you are pregnant before your Dad does


A few month ago I posted about market basket analysis (see Customers who bought…), in this post we will see another form of it, done with Logistic Regression, so read on…
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Learning Data Science: Understanding and Using k-means Clustering


A few months ago I published a quite popular post on Clustering the Bible… one well known clustering algorithm is k-means. If you want to learn how k-means works and how to apply it in a real-world example, read on…
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Reinforcement Learning: Life is a Maze


It can be argued that the most important decisions in life are some variant of an exploitation-exploration problem. Shall I stick with my current job or look for a new one? Shall I stay with my partner or seek a new love? Shall I continue reading the book or watch the movie instead? In all of those cases, the question is always whether I should “exploit” the thing I have or whether I should “explore” new things. If you want to learn how to tackle this most basic trade-off read on…
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