Monday, July 21, 2014

Building a Recommender with Apache Mahout on Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR)

This post introduces machine learning, provides context for the Apache Mahout project, and offers some specifics about recommender systems. Then, using Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), we’ll tour the workflows for building a simple movie recommender and for writing and running a simple web service to provide results to client applications. Finally, we’ll list some ways to learn more and engage with the Mahout community.

Machine Learning

Machine learning has its roots in artificial intelligence. The term implies that machine learning tools bring cognition and automated decision-making to data problems, but currently machine learning methods do not include computer thought. Even so, machine learning tools usually do employ some type of automated decision making, often iteratively working toward minimizing or maximizing a specific measurement about the performance of a model.

The field of machine learning encompasses many topics and approaches, usually falling into the categories of classification, clustering, and recommenders.

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