What Are Probabilistic Models in Machine Learning?


Probabilistic Models in Machine Learning is the use of the codes of statistics to data examination. It was one of the initial methods of machine learning. It’s quite extensively used to this day. Individual of the best-known algorithms in this group is the Naive Bayes algorithm.

Probabilistic modelling delivers a framework for accepting what learning is. The probabilistic framework defines how to signify and deploy reservation about models. Predictions have a dominant role in scientific data analysis. Their role is also so important in machine learning, automation, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.


Probabilistic models are presented as a prevailing idiom to define the world. Those were described by using random variables for example building blocks believed together by probabilistic relationships.

There are probabilistic models along with non-probabilistic models in machine learning. The information about basic concepts of probability for example random variables and probability distributions would be helpful in order to have a well understanding of probabilistic models.

Portrayal inference from noisy or ambiguous data is an imperative part of intelligent systems. In probability theory particularly Bayes’ theorem helps as a principled framework of combining prior knowledge and empirical evidence.

Importance of probabilistic ML models

One of the key benefits of probabilistic models is that they give an idea about the uncertainty linked with predictions. We may get an idea of how confident a machine learning model is on its prediction. For example, if the probabilistic classifier allocates a probability of 0.9 for the ‘Dog’ class in its place of 0.6, it means the classifier is extra confident that the animal in the image is a dog. These concepts connected to uncertainty and confidence are very valuable when it originates to critical machine learning uses for example disease diagnosis and autonomous driving. Moreover, probabilistic consequences would be worthwhile for many methods linked to Machine Learning for instance Active Learning.

Bayesian Inference

At the centre of Bayesian inference is the Bayes’ rule sometimes called Bayes’ theorem. It is used to define the probability of a hypothesis with former knowledge. It is contingent on conditional probability.

Bayes Rule

Rev'd Thomas Bayes (1702-1761)

Rev’d Thomas Bayes (1702-1761)

The formula for Bayes’ theorem is known as;

P (hypothesis│data)    =     P (data│hypothesis) P (hypothesis) / P (data)
  • Bayes rule states that how to do inference about hypotheses from data.
  • Learning and prediction may be understood as forms of inference.

The typical Bayesian inference with Bayes’ rule is needing for a mechanism to straight regulate the target posterior distribution. For example, the inference process is a one-way procedure that plans the earlier distribution to the posterior by detecting empirical data. In supervised learning and reinforcement learning, our final goal is to put on the posterior to learning tasks. That is applied with some measurement on the performance for instance prediction error or expected reward.

An upright posterior distribution should have a small prediction error or a great expected reward. Furthermore, by way, the large scale knowledge bases are built and crowdsourcing platforms are broadly accepted to gather human data, it is needed to include the outside information into statistical modelling and inference when building an intelligent system.

Naive Bayes algorithm

Naïve Bayes algorithm is a supervised learning algorithm. It is created on the Bayes theorem and used for resolving sorting problems. It is chiefly used in text classification that comprises a high-dimensional training dataset. The naïve Bayes algorithm is one of the simple and best operational Classification algorithms that support construction the of fast machine learning models which may create rapid predictions.

The naive Bayes algorithm is a probabilistic classifier. It means that it predicts on the basis of the probability of an object. More or less prevalent instances of Naïve Bayes Algorithm are;

  • Spam filtration
  • Sentimental analysis
  • Classifying articles

A narrowly correlated model is the logistic regression. That is sometimes well thought-out to be the “hello world” of modern machine learning. Don’t be deceived by its name as log reg is a classification algorithm somewhat a regression algorithm. Considerably like Naive Bayes, up till now, it’s quite useful to this day as log reg predates computing for a long time, Thanks to its modest and multipurpose nature. It’s frequently the first thing a data scientist would attempt on a dataset to become a feel for the classification task at hand.

Types of Naïve Bayes Model

There are the following three types of Naive Bayes Model:

  • Gaussian: The Gaussian model takes responsibility that features monitor a normal distribution. This means that if analysts take nonstop values rather than separate, then the model takes up that these values are tested from the Gaussian distribution.
  • Multinomial: It is used when the data is multinomial circulated. It is mainly used for document classification problems. It means a specific document goes to that category for example Sports, education, and Politics etc. The classifier uses the rate of words for the predictors.
  • Bernoulli: The Bernoulli classifier do work alike to the Multinomial classifier. Then the predictor variables are the self-governing Booleans variables. For example, if a specific word is present or not in a document. This model is as well well-known for document classification tasks.

Uses of Naïve Bayes Model

The Naïve Bayes Classifier used;

  • For Credit Scoring.
  • In medical data classification.
  • It may be used in real-time predictions as Naïve Bayes Classifier is a keen learner.
  • In-Text classification for example Spam filtering and Sentiment analysis.

Pros and Cons of Bayes Classifier

  • Naïve Bayes is one of the easy and fast machine learning algorithms to foresee a class of datasets.
  • It may be used for Binary also as Multi-class Classifications.
  • It does well in Multi-class predictions for example likened to the other Algorithms.
  • It is the greatest widespread selection for text classification problems.
  • Naive Bayes accepts that all sorts are autonomous or disparate. Therefore it cannot learn the association between features.

Objective Functions

We may gaze at its Objective Function permissible to recognize whether a specific model is probabilistic or not. We wish to enhance a model to excel at an exact task in machine learning. The target of having an objective function is to deliver a value based on the model’s outputs. Therefore, optimization may be done by moreover exploiting or curtailing the actual value. Usually, the objective is to reduce prediction error in Machine Learning. Therefore, we describe what is called a loss function for example the objective function and attempts to reduce the loss function in the training phase of a machine learning model.