A Support Vector Machine, or SVM, is a non-parametric supervised learning model. For non-linear classification and regression, they utilise the kernel trick to map inputs to high-dimensional feature spaces. SVMs construct a hyper-plane or set of hyper-planes in a high or infinite dimensional space, which can be used for classification, regression or other tasks. Intuitively, a good separation is achieved by the hyper-plane that has the largest distance to the nearest training data points of any class (so-called functional margin), since in general the larger the margin the lower the generalization error of the classifier. The figure to the right shows the decision function for a linearly separable problem, with three samples on the margin boundaries, called “support vectors”.
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