Book review: scikit-learn Cookbook

There are now a few books on sickit-learn, for instance a general one on machine learning systems, and a cookbook. I was a technical reviewer for the first one, and now I’m reviewing the cookbook.

Content and opinions

A cookbook is a collection of recipes, it is not intended to help you understand how your oven works. It is the same for this book, it won’t help you install your oven or set it up, you will have to know how to install the required packages.

It will help you decide what tool to use for which problem. It is complementary to the tutorials and the gallery on the scikit website as it adds some thoughts on what the algorithm does and where to pay attention. If Building Machine Learning Systems in Python is quite broad and goes from the installation to specific algorithms, this book tries to cover more algorithms, with explanations of what you are doing, but with less depth, and it is more or less only focused on scikit-learn.

Conclusion

If you know a little bit about machine learning and Python, a cookbook may be more appropriate than a more “vertical” book. As such this book covers quite a bit of the scikit, with some useful tips. But as it doesn’t go in too many details, you still need to confront data and parameters against a book like Bishop’s Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning.

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