Feature extraction involves simplifying the amount of resources required to describe a large set of data accurately. When performing analysis of complex data one of the major problems stems from the number of variables involved. Analysis with a large number of variables generally requires a large amount of memory and computation power or a classification algorithm which overfits the training sample and generalizes poorly to new samples. Feature extraction is a general term for methods of constructing combinations of the variables to get around these problems while still describing the data with sufficient accuracy.
Best results are achieved when an expert constructs a set of application-dependent features. Nevertheless, if no such expert knowledge is available general dimensionality reduction techniques may help. These include:
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