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143 of 147 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, December 4, 2013
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This review is from: Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications (Paperback)
This is the first time I've actually taken the time to write out a review. I'm sure this book was awesome when it first came out, it is clear, concise and has a nice follow-along structure. However, it has become outdated and it is riddled with either old syntax and errors. I have gotten past most of that though. The worst part is probably that the files that are used in some of the examples are hosted on the authors blog and have been taken down. If he can't be bothered to continue hosting old files for people who may buy the book (or point us to somewhere to get them) we shouldn't be bothered to buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to pique your interest, August 15, 2011
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This review is from: Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications (Paperback)
This is a good introductory book to pique your interest in machine learning as was my case. But reading it got a bit frustrating as the code samples seem to be out of sync with the text and I was left wondering whether I wasn't quite understanding it right. This has been my major gripe with the book as you spend a lot of time making sure that you are not wrong. The book does not have a lot of emphasis on explaining the theory and mostly aims at giving you formulae to get the job done. It might be because an explanation of the theory might be beyond the scope of this book, but it kind of leaves the reader with an incomplete feeling.

This book would serve well to generate an awareness of the techniques and algorithms, but one would have to go in search of more material in order to be able to truly understand the concepts and algorithms introduced.

If I knew of such a book I'd rather buy that than "Collective Intelligence".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice if you know the math but not the programming, February 10, 2012
By 
J. Kingsbury (South Bend, IN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications (Paperback)
If you have taken graduate level statistical and computer science classes: CS ones like AI, NLP, Analysis of Algorithms and Math ones like Simulation Modeling, Forecasting, Analysis and Design of Experiements you learned how to use R and MatLab to display your results that were provided in a project or calculated using another programming language that may not have the ability to display graphs at all (lisp), this book makes the process of moving to Python for both processing (something you probably did not do in math class, as data is generally just given in the text or projects, but would do if you were taking a research course in about any given field of study) and analysis (the R/MatLab data analysis part) trivial! I would say that if you are in any field that uses statistical analysis of experimental or research data, you would find something to use in this book. Someone new to the math may have problems, but the examples might still be enough to wrap your mind around the... Read more
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