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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Introduction to Machine Learning
Module Code CA271B
School School of Computing
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Anya Belz
Semester 2: Anya Belz
Autumn: Anya Belz
Module TeachersBrian Davis
Anya Belz
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This course will cover introductory topics and conventional algorithms needed to understand the field of Machine Learning. The course will prepare students to understand and distinguish between main groups of methods used in Machine Learning, supervised and unsupervised, and how and when they are applicable. Key topics will include Regression, Decision Trees, Naive Bayes, Neural Networks, Clustering and Principal Component Analysis.

Learning Outcomes

1. Apply knowledge about the purpose and key applications of Machine Learning in choosing appropriate Machine Learning methods to given appliciation tasks.
2. Distinguish between supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning methods and when and how to apply them.
3. Apply methods of Linear Regression to model and predict data dependencies.
4. Construct and apply Decision Tree learning to predict the values of variables of interest.
5. Build data classifiers by utilising Naive Bayes algorithms and Support Vector Machines.
6. Apply knowledge of the concepts and application of different types of Artificial Neural Networks in selecting appropriate neural-network based systems to given application contexts.
7. Obtain insights from unstructured data by using unsupervised methods such as Clustering and Principal Component Analysis.
8. Apply selected Machine Learning methods using publicly available data sets in Python or similar.
9. Explore existing ML libraries, tools and platforms such as Scikit-Learn and HuggingFace.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36Lectures and in-class tutorials covering key topics of the course. Full class notes are provided in advance of lectures and material is divided by lecture and topics covered. Course content and supplementary material on key topics are available online.
Laboratory24Laboratory hands-on experience running machine learning algorithms on existing data sets both locally and using online frameworks.
Independent Study127.5No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Fundamentals and Applications of Machine Learning
Purpose and objectives of Machine Learning, basic terminology and concepts, real-world machine learning applications, supervised vs. unsupervised learning.

Probability and Linear Algebra
Simple approaches to prediction, Linear algebra review, Probability Distributions (Gaussian), Least Squares, Nearest Neighbours, Decision Theory, Bayesian Methods.

Supervised Learning
Main methods used in supervised learning including Regression, Decision Trees, Naive Bayes, Support Vector Machines, validation and model evaluation, Basics of Neural Networks, Ensembles, Perceptron.

Unsupervised Learning
Principal techniques used in unsupervised learning including Clustering, K-means, Principal Component Analysis.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentFour short quizzes in Loop covering module material from the preceding 2-3 weeks; conducted supervised in class.40%n/a
Loop QuizExtended quiz covering all module topics; conducted supervised in class.25%n/a
Essay1250 word essay on an application area of machine learning including examples of how technologies work, and discussion of ethical aspects; each student has to do a different topic.35%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • John D. Kelleher, Brian Mac Namee and Aoife D'Arcy: 2015, Fundamentals of Machine Learning for Predictive Data Analytics: Algorithms, Worked Example, and Case Studies, 9780262029445
  • Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, Jerome Friedman: 2009, 2. The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction, 2, 0387848576
  • Tom M. Mitchell: 1997, Machine learning, McGraw-Hill, New York, 9780070428072
  • Richard O. Duda, Peter E. Hart, David G. Stork: 0, Pattern Classification, 2, 0471056690
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MCMM.Sc. in Computing

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