Machine Learning by Stanford University
This course is one of the most famous courses on Coursera. Now I go two weeks ahead of the deadline and reach Week 5, I plan to finish it in the flowing few days.
Update 0319: I finished the course with full marks today, but this post is still incomplete, I will keep updating it as reviewing this great course.
This course is the perfect choice if you are not satisfied with just being able to drive some machine learning framework to work but also eager to know what is under the hood, this course will teach you the most concrete mathematical principles and equations underlying most AI applications. Overall in this course, Prof. Ng delivered profound knowledge in a comprehensive way. But this course isn’t flawless, for example Week 5 uses intuition to explain backpropogation and example applications, which I would say verbose and useless.
Bellow is my note of important concept, it may be incomplete and biased, feel free to leave comment and let me know, I will keep it updated.
The Syllabus skeleton is left, to remind readers in which section that concept is taught.
 Week 1: Introduction
 Week 2:
 Week 3: Logistic Regression
 Week 4:
 Week 4
 Week 5: Neural Networks: Learning
 Week 6:
 Week 7: Support Vector Machines
 Week 8
 Week 9
 Anomaly Detection
 Week 10: Large Scale Machine Learning
 Week 11: Application Example: Photo OCR
Week 1: Introduction
Supervised Learning and Unsupervised Learning
Week 2:
Multivariate Linear Regression
Multiple Features
Gradient Descent For Multiple Variables
Gradient Descent in Practice I  Feature Scaling
Gradient Descent in Practice II  Learning Rate
Features and Polynomial Regression
Computing Parameters Analytically
Normal Equation
Normal Equation Noninvertibility
Week 3: Logistic Regression
Questions:

Is the gradient too small?

Why logistic regression has advantage over linear regression when it comes to classification.
http://www.theanalysisfactor.com/whylogisticregressionforbinaryresponse/
Classification and Representation
Classification
Hypothesis Representation
Decision Boundary
TODO convex function
Logistic Regression Model
Cost Function
Week 4:
Simplified Cost Function and Gradient Descent
Advanced Optimization
fminunc in Octave is very useful to auto generate cost and gradient
Multiclass Classification
Multiclass Classification: onevsall
Solving the Problem of Overfitting
The Problem of Overfitting
Cost function
Regularized Linear Regression
Regularized Logistic Regression
Week 4
Nonlinear Hypotheses
Neurons and Brains
Neural Networks
Model Representation
How to determine the dimension of one layer?
If network has units in layer j and units in layer j+1, then will be of dimension .
Forward Propagation
Applications
Examples and Intuitions
Week 5: Neural Networks: Learning
Cost Function and Backpropagation
Cost Function
Backpropagation Algorithm
Error(delta) of cost for Node
Backpropagation Intuition
Backpropagation in Practice
Implementation Note: Unrolling Parameters
Gradient Checking
gradApprox ≈ deltaVector
The code to compute gradApprox can be very slow
Random Initialization
Initialization theta can’t be set all to 0, otherwise the backpropagation will get all same theta. So theta matrix should be initialize randomly. This is also called Symmetry Breaking.
One effective strategy for choosing is to base it on the number of units in the network. A good choice of is , where and are the number of units in the layers adjacent to .
Putting It Together
Question: Can we just skip gradient checking? A: No, we need to check the backpropogation is bug free.
First, pick a network architecture; choose the layout of your neural network, including how many hidden units in each layer and how many layers in total you want to have.
Number of input units = dimension of features x(i)
Number of output units = number of classes
Number of hidden units per layer = usually more the better (must balance with cost of computation as it increases with more hidden units)
Defaults: 1 hidden layer. If you have more than 1 hidden layer, then it is recommended that you have the same number of units in every hidden layer.
Training a Neural Network
 Randomly initialize the weights
 Implement forward propagation to get hΘ(x(i)) for any x(i)
 Implement the cost function
 Implement backpropagation to compute partial derivatives
 Use gradient checking to confirm that your backpropagation works. Then disable gradient checking.
 Use gradient descent or a builtin optimization function to minimize the cost function with the weights in theta.
Application of Neural Networks
Autonomous Driving
Programming Assignment
Visualizing the hidden layer
One way to understand what your neural network is learning is to visualize what the representations captured by the hidden units.
Week 6:
Advice for Applying Machine Learning
Evaluating a Learning Algorithm
Deciding What to Try Next
Evaluating a Hypothesis
Model Selection and Train/Validation/Test Sets
Bias vs. Variance
Diagnosing Bias vs. Variance
Regularization and Bias/Variance
In order to choose the model and the regularization term λ, we need to:
Create a list of lambdas (i.e. λ∈{0,0.01,0.02,0.04,0.08,0.16,0.32,0.64,1.28,2.56,5.12,10.24}); Create a set of models with different degrees or any other variants. Iterate through the λs and for each λ go through all the models to learn some Θ. Compute the cross validation error using the learned Θ (computed with λ) on the JCV(Θ) without regularization or λ = 0. Select the best combo that produces the lowest error on the cross validation set. Using the best combo Θ and λ, apply it on Jtest(Θ) to see if it has a good generalization of the problem.
Learning Curves
Deciding What to do Next Revisited
Review
Quiz: Advice for Applying Machine Learning5 questions
Programming Assignment: Regularized Linear Regression and Bias/Variance3h
Machine Learning System Design
Building a Spam Classifier
Prioritizing What to Work On
Error Analysis
Accuracy = (true positives + true negatives) / (total examples)
Precision = (true positives) / (true positives + false positives)
Recall = (true positives) / (true positives + false negatives)
F1 score = (2 * precision * recall) / (precision + recall)
Handling Skewed Data
Error Metrics for Skewed Classes
Trading Off Precision and Recall
Using Large Data Sets
Data For Machine Learning
Review
Quiz: Machine Learning System Design5 questions
TODO
Week 7: Support Vector Machines
Question: What is SVM for?
Large Margin Classification
Optimization Objective
Large Margin Intuition
Mathematics Behind Large Margin Classification
Kernels
kernel refers to similarity function.
SVMs in Practice
Using An SVM
Do not perform feature scaling before using the Gaussian kernel.
Gaussian kernel, linear kernel.
Review
Quiz: Support Vector Machines5 questions
Programming Assignment: Support Vector Machines
Week 8
Unsupervised Learning
Clustering
Unsupervised Learning: Introduction
KMeans Algorithm
Optimization Objective
Random Initialization
Choosing the Number of Clusters
Dimensionality Reduction
Motivation
Motivation I: Data Compression
Motivation II: Visualization
Principal Component Analysis
Principal Component Analysis Problem Formulation
Preprocess is needed: Feature scaling and mean normalization
Principal Component Analysis Algorithm
Applying PCA
Reconstruction from Compressed Representation
Choosing the Number of Principal Components
Advice for Applying PCA
Review
Programming Assignment: KMeans Clustering and PCA
I’m excited about this exercise, about how images’ pixels or other high dimension can be reduced to low dimension, I was shocked when the “eigenfaces” was drawn, look how well it did give the outlines of faces.
Week 9
Anomaly Detection
Density Estimation
If , we say is anomalous. We use Gaussian Distribution to calculate .
Problem Motivation
Gaussian Distribution
Algorithm
Building an Anomaly Detection System
Developing and Evaluating an Anomaly Detection System
Anomaly Detection vs. Supervised Learning
What’s difference between Anomaly Detection and Supervised Learning?
Anomaly detection  Supervised learning 

Very small number of positive examples (y=1). (020 is common)  Large number of positive and negative examples. 
Large number of negative (y=0) examples  
Many different “types” of anomalies. Hard for any algorithm to learn from positive examples what the anomalies look like; future anomalies may look nothing like any of the anomalous examples we’ve seen so far.  Enough positive examples for algorithm to get a sense of what positive examples are like, future positive examples likely to be similar to ones in training set. 
Fraud detection  Email spam classification 
Manufacturing (e.g. aircraft engines)  Weather prediction (sunny/rainy/etc) 
Monitoring machines in a data center  Cancer classification 
Choosing What Features to Use
Choose features that might take on unusually large or small values in the event of an anomaly.
If features are not normally distributed, use 1/2 power or log function to normalize them.
Multivariate Gaussian Distribution (Optional)
Multivariate Gaussian Distribution
Anomaly Detection using the Multivariate Gaussian Distribution
Flag an anomaly if
where
Origin model is like this:
Original model  Multivariate Gaussian 

Manually create features to capture anomalies where x1, x2 take unusual combinations of values  Automatically capture correlations between features 
Computationally cheaper (alternatively, scales betters to large n)  Computationally more expensive 
OK even if m(training set size) is small  Must have m>n, or else is invertible 
Recommender Systems
Predicting Movie Ratings
This section assumes we have movies features, then we train parameters for every user.
Problem Formulation
Content Based Recommendations
Collaborative Filtering
Collaborative Filtering
This section talks about feature learning, assuming we don’t have movies’ features yet. But once some users rate one unfeatured movie, we can calculate the movie’s feature which makes the cost function minimum.
Collaborative Filtering Algorithm
x and theta matrix should both be initialized randomly to break symmetry.
Low Rank Matrix Factorization
Vectorization: Low Rank Matrix Factorization
Implementational Detail: Mean Normalization
For new users who haven’t any rating, thus haven’t any theta, you could assign the average rating and theta to them.
Review
Programming Assignment: Anomaly Detection and Recommender Systems
This assignment is not so interesting, I recommend you another Machine Learning specialization by Washington University on Cousera, I think they teach Recommending System better.
Week 10: Large Scale Machine Learning
Gradient Descent with Large Datasets
Observe learning curves over training set and cross validation set, if they converge and reach to the same level, that means your training set is large enough.
Learning With Large Datasets
Batch gradient descent is more suitable for large dataset.
Stochastic Gradient Descent
Stochastic gradient descent:
 randomly shuffle training examples
 use single training example to update theta
 repeat step 2
Stochastic gradient descent is much faster than batch gradient descent, but is not guaranteed to reach optimum eventually. I think it’s hard for stochastic gradient descent to pick a proper learning rate.
MiniBatch Gradient Descent
A compromise of batch and stochastic gradient descent.
Stochastic Gradient Descent Convergence
You can decrease learning rate to guarantee the cost function converge.
Advanced Topics
Online Learning
Similar to stochastic gradient descent, every time you use new training set to adjust your model, and only for once. The method can adapt your model when user preference changes.
Map Reduce and Data Parallelism
Parallel computing gradient on batch, then sum up on central node and update your sigma. This way also speeds up the learning process and enable you to deal with large scale dataset.
Week 11: Application Example: Photo OCR
Photo OCR
Problem Description and Pipeline
Sliding Windows
Getting Lots of Data and Artificial Data
Ceiling Analysis: What Part of the Pipeline to Work on Next
Analyze every component, assume that component and the components before it are perfect, calculate the accuracy of the whole pipeline, so you can find improvement space at every component, if the improvement is little, then it’s not very worth it to improve it.