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Do I need to be a machine-learning professional in order to use Apache Mahout?

 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Hi,
First let me congrats you for the book, I bet it was an amazing experience.
Now the question
Do I need to be a machine-learning professional in order to use Apache Mahout?
For example, Apache Hadoop made it possible to write massively clustered and distributed Map/Reduce jobs without being parallel computing expert.
Thanks.
 
Sean Owen
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I don't think you need a machine learning background to understand and use the project -- but you might need a guide, like the book! It is, at the moment, a collection of interesting code, and a workshop for some valuable ideas, but is not well documented or explained. The book tries to help bridge that gap. (And the book only assumes you have some Java experience and standard math background, not deep machine learning experience.)

Some machine learning experience would probably help understand the ideas quicker, but what you really need to use the code is a willingness to read the source and experiment!
 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Algorithms implemented in Apache Mahout are really scaring me.
They look something like Rockets science to me.
Does your book discuss and explain those algorithms?
 
Ted Dunning
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The book doesn't go into massive detail on the algorithms. Some of the algorithms can be a bit scary, but the fundamental ideas are really pretty straightforward.

To use the stuff in the book, you need to know the general shape of the algorithms, but not the details. We talk a lot about shape in the book.
 
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