top 11 machine learning projects for beginners

Top 11 Machine Learning Projects to Boost up your Machine Learning Skills

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Machine Learning is a transformative field that has rapidly gained traction in recent years. Adding the Machine Learning skills to your profile can give it the right boost. As beginners embark on their journey to explore the realm of Machine Learning, they often seek practical projects to apply their newfound knowledge and skills.

The best Machine Learning course will also help you acquire the necessary skills via practical applications. ML projects are an integral part of Machine Learning interview questions. Hence, acquiring practical knowledge is a must.

In this comprehensive guide, we present eleven captivating Machine Learning projects tailored for beginners. Each project is accompanied by detailed explanations, codes, and examples to facilitate a deeper understanding and hands-on experience.

11 Machine Learning projects 

1. Predicting house prices with linear regression

Linear regression serves as an excellent starting point for beginners diving into Machine Learning. In this project, we utilize linear regression to predict house prices based on various features such as square footage, number of bedrooms, and location. Through step-by-step guidance, beginners will learn to preprocess data, build a regression model, and evaluate its performance.

Python code example using scikit-learn for implementing linear regression to predict house prices:

# Import necessary libraries

import numpy as np

import pandas as pd

from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

from sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegression

from sklearn.metrics import mean_squared_error

# Load the dataset

data = pd.read_csv(‘house_prices.csv’)

# Split the data into features and target variable

X = data[[‘feature1’, ‘feature2’, …]]  # Features

y = data[‘price’]  # Target variable

# Split the data into training and testing sets

X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=0.2, random_state=42)

# Initialize the linear regression model

model = LinearRegression()

# Train the model

model.fit(X_train, y_train)

# Make predictions on the testing set

y_pred = model.predict(X_test)

# Evaluate the model

mse = mean_squared_error(y_test, y_pred)

rmse = np.sqrt(mse)

print(‘Root Mean Squared Error:’, rmse)

Note: Replace ‘feature1’, ‘feature2’, … with the actual feature names from your dataset. Similarly, ‘house_prices.csv’ should be replaced with the filename or path to your dataset file. This code will give you a basic framework for implementing linear regression for house price prediction in Python.

House Price Prediction using Linear Regression from Scratch | by Tanvi Penumudy | Analytics Vidhya | Medium

2. Recognizing handwritten digits with MNIST dataset

The MNIST dataset is a classic benchmark for image classification tasks. In this project, beginners delve into image recognition by building a neural network to classify handwritten digits. By leveraging libraries like TensorFlow or PyTorch, participants gain insights into convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and the intricacies of image processing.

Here’s a simple Python code example using TensorFlow and Keras to recognize handwritten digits using a basic CNN:

import tensorflow as tf from tensorflow.keras import layers, models, datasets

# Load and preprocess the MNIST dataset

(train_images, train_labels), (test_images, test_labels) = datasets.mnist.load_data()

train_images = train_images.reshape((60000, 28, 28, 1)).astype(‘float32’) / 255

test_images = test_images.reshape((10000, 28, 28, 1)).astype(‘float32’) / 255

# Convert labels to one-hot encoding

train_labels = tf.keras.utils.to_categorical(train_labels)

test_labels = tf.keras.utils.to_categorical(test_labels)

# Create a convolutional neural network

model = models.Sequential()

model.add(layers.Conv2D(32, (3, 3), activation=’relu’, input_shape=(28, 28, 1)))

model.add(layers.MaxPooling2D((2, 2)))

model.add(layers.Conv2D(64, (3, 3), activation=’relu’))

model.add(layers.MaxPooling2D((2, 2)))

model.add(layers.Conv2D(64, (3, 3), activation=’relu’))

model.add(layers.Flatten())

model.add(layers.Dense(64, activation=’relu’))

model.add(layers.Dense(10, activation=’softmax’))

# Compile the model

model.compile(optimizer=’adam’,

           loss=’categorical_crossentropy’,

           metrics=[‘accuracy’])

# Train the model

model.fit(train_images, train_labels, epochs=5, batch_size=64, validation_data=(test_images, test_labels))

# Evaluate the model

test_loss, test_acc = model.evaluate(test_images, test_labels)

print(‘Test accuracy:’, test_acc)

Note: This code uses a simple CNN architecture with three convolutional layers followed by max-pooling layers and two dense layers. The model is trained using the MNIST dataset and then evaluated on the test set. You can further optimize and experiment with the model architecture to achieve better accuracy.

How to Develop a CNN for MNIST Handwritten Digit Classification - MachineLearningMastery.com

3. Sentiment analysis on movie reviews

Sentiment analysis offers a fascinating glimpse into natural language processing (NLP). In this project, beginners explore NLP techniques by analyzing movie reviews to determine sentiment polarity (positive, negative, or neutral). Using tools like NLTK or spaCy, participants preprocess text data, extract features, and train sentiment classifiers.

Here’s a simple Python code example using scikit-learn and the IMDb movie review dataset for sentiment analysis:

from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import TfidfVectorizer

from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

from sklearn.svm import LinearSVC

from sklearn.metrics import accuracy_score

from sklearn.datasets import load_files

# Load the IMDb movie review dataset

reviews_train = load_files(‘aclImdb/train/’)

text_train, y_train = reviews_train.data, reviews_train.target

# Preprocess the text data and extract features using TF-IDF

tfidf_vectorizer = TfidfVectorizer(stop_words=’english’, max_df=0.7)

X_train = tfidf_vectorizer.fit_transform(text_train)

# Split the dataset into training and testing sets

X_train_split, X_val, y_train_split, y_val = train_test_split(X_train, y_train, test_size=0.2, random_state=42)

# Initialize and train a Support Vector Machine classifier

svm_clf = LinearSVC()

svm_clf.fit(X_train_split, y_train_split)

# Make predictions on the validation set

y_pred = svm_clf.predict(X_val)

# Evaluate the model performance

accuracy = accuracy_score(y_val, y_pred)

print(‘Validation Accuracy:’, accuracy)

Note: We load the IMDb movie review dataset, preprocess the text data using TF-IDF vectorization, split the dataset into training and validation sets, and train a Support Vector Machine classifier. Finally, we evaluate the model’s accuracy on the validation set. You can further optimize the model or explore different algorithms to improve performance.

Sentiment Analysis — A how-to guide with movie reviews | by Shiao-li Green | Towards Data Science

4. Clustering customer segments with K-means

Understanding customer behavior is crucial for businesses across industries. In this project, beginners apply K-means clustering to segment customers based on purchasing patterns and demographics. By visualizing clusters and interpreting results, participants gain insights into market segmentation and targeted marketing strategies.

Here’s a simple Python code example using scikit-learn to perform K-Means clustering on a synthetic customer dataset:

from sklearn.cluster import KMeans

import pandas as pd

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Load the customer dataset

data = pd.read_csv(‘customer_data.csv’)

# Preprocess the data (scaling features, handling missing values, encoding categorical variables, etc.)

# Select relevant features for clustering

X = data[[‘feature1’, ‘feature2’, …]]  # Features

# Determine the optimal number of clusters (K) using the elbow method

inertia = []

for k in range(1, 11):

kmeans = KMeans(n_clusters=k, random_state=42)

kmeans.fit(X)

inertia.append(kmeans.inertia_)

# Plot the elbow curve

plt.plot(range(1, 11), inertia, marker=’o’)

plt.xlabel(‘Number of clusters’)

plt.ylabel(‘Inertia’)

plt.title(‘Elbow Method’)

plt.show()

# Based on the elbow curve, choose the optimal number of clusters (K)

# Apply K-Means clustering

kmeans = KMeans(n_clusters=optimal_k, random_state=42)

kmeans.fit(X)

# Add cluster labels to the original dataset

data[‘cluster’] = kmeans.labels_

# Analyze the characteristics of each cluster

cluster_means = data.groupby(‘cluster’).mean()

print(cluster_means)

Note: Replace ‘feature1’, ‘feature2′, …’ with the actual features from your dataset, and ‘customer_data.csv’ with the filename or path to your dataset file. This code will help you perform K-Means clustering on your customer dataset and analyze the characteristics of each cluster.

Customer Segmentation using KMeans Clustering | by Ashim Maity | Medium

5. Detecting fraudulent transactions with anomaly detection

Fraud detection is a critical application of Machine Learning in finance and cybersecurity. In this project, beginners tackle fraud detection by employing anomaly detection algorithms such as isolation forests or autoencoders. Through feature engineering and model evaluation, participants identify anomalous transactions and enhance fraud prevention mechanisms.

Python code example using the Isolation Forest algorithm for detecting fraudulent transactions:

python

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from sklearn.ensemble import IsolationForest

import pandas as pd

# Load the transaction data

data = pd.read_csv(‘transaction_data.csv’)

# Preprocess the data (handle missing values, encode categorical variables, scale numerical features, etc.)

# Select relevant features for anomaly detection

X = data[[‘feature1’, ‘feature2’, …]]  # Features

# Train the Isolation Forest model

isolation_forest = IsolationForest(contamination=0.01, random_state=42)

isolation_forest.fit(X)

# Predict outliers (anomalies)

predictions = isolation_forest.predict(X)

# Add outlier predictions to the original dataset

data[‘is_outlier’] = predictions

# Identify fraudulent transactions (outliers)

fraudulent_transactions = data[data[‘is_outlier’] == -1]

print(fraudulent_transactions)

Note: Replace ‘feature1’, ‘feature2′, …’ with the actual features from your dataset, and ‘transaction_data.csv’ with the filename or path to your transaction dataset file. This code will help you detect fraudulent transactions using the Isolation Forest algorithm. Adjust the contamination parameter according to the expected proportion of fraudulent transactions in your dataset.

Financial Fraud: A Review of Anomaly Detection Techniques and Recent Advances - ScienceDirect

6. Recommender system for movie recommendations

Recommender systems play a pivotal role in personalizing user experiences across digital platforms. In this project, beginners construct a movie recommender system using collaborative filtering or content-based approaches. By leveraging user-item interactions and movie metadata, participants design algorithms to generate personalized recommendations.

simple Python code example using the Surprise library to build a collaborative filtering movie recommender system:

from surprise import Dataset, Reader, KNNBasic

from surprise.model_selection import train_test_split

from surprise import accuracy

# Load the movie rating dataset

reader = Reader(line_format=’user item rating timestamp’, sep=’,’, rating_scale=(1, 5))

data = Dataset.load_from_file(‘ratings.csv’, reader)

# Split the dataset into training and testing sets

trainset, testset = train_test_split(data, test_size=0.2)

# Build the collaborative filtering model

model = KNNBasic(sim_options={‘user_based’: True})

# Train the model

model.fit(trainset)

# Make predictions on the testing set

predictions = model.test(testset)

# Evaluate the model

accuracy.rmse(predictions)

accuracy.mae(predictions)

# Get movie recommendations for a user

user_id = ‘123’  # Replace with the user ID for whom you want to get recommendations

user_movies = [‘Toy Story (1995)’, ‘Jurassic Park (1993)’, ‘Titanic (1997)’]  # Movies already rated by the user

for movie in user_movies:

print(movie, model.predict(user_id, movie).est)

Note: Replace ‘ratings.csv’ with the filename or path to your movie ratings dataset. This code uses the Surprise library, which provides a simple interface for building and evaluating collaborative filtering models. It loads the dataset, splits it into training and testing sets, builds a user-based collaborative filtering model using KNN, trains the model, makes predictions, evaluates its performance, and finally provides movie recommendations for a specific user.

How to Build a Movie Recommendation System | by Ramya Vidiyala | Towards Data Science

 

7. Classifying Iris flower species with decision trees

The Iris flower dataset is a classic example for classification tasks in Machine Learning. In this project, beginners utilize decision tree algorithms to classify Iris flower species based on sepal and petal attributes. By visualizing decision boundaries and interpreting tree structures, participants gain insights into classification algorithms and model interpretability.

Python code example using scikit-learn to classify Iris flower species with a decision tree classifier:

from sklearn.datasets import load_iris

from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

from sklearn.tree import DecisionTreeClassifier

from sklearn.metrics import accuracy_score

# Load the Iris dataset

iris = load_iris()

X = iris.data

y = iris.target

# Split the dataset into training and testing sets

X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=0.2, random_state=42)

# Build the decision tree classifier

clf = DecisionTreeClassifier(random_state=42)

# Train the classifier

clf.fit(X_train, y_train)

# Make predictions on the testing set

y_pred = clf.predict(X_test)

# Evaluate the model’s accuracy

accuracy = accuracy_score(y_test, y_pred)

print(‘Accuracy:’, accuracy)

Note: We load the Iris dataset, split it into training and testing sets, build a decision tree classifier, train the classifier using the training data, make predictions on the testing set, and evaluate the model’s accuracy. Adjusting hyperparameters or trying other classification algorithms can further improve the model’s performance.

Decision Tree Classifier for Iris Flower Species Prediction | by NANDINI VERMA | Medium

 

Time series forecasting enables analysts to predict future trends based on historical data. In this project, beginners explore time series analysis by forecasting stock market trends using techniques like ARIMA or LSTM networks. By analyzing price movements and evaluating forecast accuracy, participants gain valuable insights into financial modeling and algorithmic trading.

simple Python code example using the ARIMA model for time series forecasting of stock prices:

python

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import pandas as pd

from statsmodels.tsa.arima.model import ARIMA

from sklearn.metrics import mean_squared_error

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Load historical stock price data

stock_data = pd.read_csv(‘stock_data.csv’, parse_dates=[‘Date’], index_col=’Date’)

# Preprocess the data if necessary

# Train-test split

train_size = int(len(stock_data) * 0.8)

train_data, test_data = stock_data[:train_size], stock_data[train_size:]

# Build and train ARIMA model

model = ARIMA(train_data[‘Close’], order=(5, 1, 2))  # Adjust order as needed

fitted_model = model.fit()

# Make predictions on the testing set

predictions = fitted_model.predict(start=len(train_data), end=len(stock_data)-1, typ=’levels’)

# Evaluate the model

mse = mean_squared_error(test_data[‘Close’], predictions)

rmse = mse ** 0.5

print(‘Root Mean Squared Error:’, rmse)

# Plotting actual vs. predicted stock prices

plt.plot(test_data[‘Close’], label=’Actual’)

plt.plot(predictions, label=’Predicted’)

plt.legend()

plt.show()

Note: Replace ‘stock_data.csv’ with the filename or path to your historical stock price dataset. The ARIMA model is just one example, and you may need to experiment with different models and parameters based on the characteristics of the stock price data.

Additionally, consider incorporating more advanced models like LSTM for potentially improved performance, especially when dealing with complex patterns in the stock market.

Stock Price Prediction and Stock Price Forecasting using Stacked LSTM

 

9. Image segmentation for medical imaging

Medical imaging holds immense potential for diagnosing diseases and guiding treatment plans. In this project, beginners delve into image segmentation techniques to identify and delineate regions of interest in medical images. By applying algorithms like U-Net or Mask R-CNN, participants contribute to advancements in medical image analysis and healthcare technology.

We’ll perform a basic segmentation task on an MRI brain image to segment the brain tissues into different regions: white matter, gray matter, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

import numpy as np

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from skimage import io, color, filters, morphology

# Load the MRI brain image

image = io.imread(‘brain_mri.jpg’, as_gray=True)

# Apply Gaussian filter for smoothing

image_smooth = filters.gaussian(image, sigma=1)

# Thresholding to segment the image into binary regions

threshold = filters.threshold_otsu(image_smooth)

binary_image = image_smooth > threshold

# Morphological operations for cleaning and smoothing

binary_image_cleaned = morphology.remove_small_objects(binary_image, min_size=100)

binary_image_cleaned = morphology.binary_closing(binary_image_cleaned, morphology.disk(3))

# Label connected components in the binary image

labeled_image, num_labels = morphology.label(binary_image_cleaned, return_num=True)

# Plot the original image and the segmented regions

fig, axes = plt.subplots(1, 2, figsize=(12, 6))

ax0, ax1 = axes.ravel()

ax0.imshow(image, cmap=’gray’)

ax0.set_title(‘Original MRI Image’)

ax1.imshow(labeled_image, cmap=’nipy_spectral’)

ax1.set_title(‘Segmented Brain Tissues’)

plt.show()

Note: We label the connected components in the binary image using the label() function.

Finally, we plot the original MRI image and the segmented brain tissues using matplotlib.

Please make sure to replace ‘brain_mri.jpg’ with the filename or path to your MRI brain image.

This example provides a basic demonstration of image segmentation for medical imaging, and more sophisticated techniques and preprocessing steps may be required for specific applications and datasets.

Image Segmentation in Medical Imaging

10. Recognizing objects in real-time with Deep Learning

Real-time object recognition is a captivating application of deep learning in computer vision. In this project, beginners develop object detection models capable of identifying and localizing objects within live video streams. By implementing architectures like YOLO or SSD, participants explore real-world applications of deep learning in autonomous driving, surveillance, and augmented reality.

simplified example of how you can recognize objects in real-time using YOLOv4 with the OpenCV library in Python:

import cv2

# Load pre-trained YOLOv4 model and configuration files

net = cv2.dnn.readNet(“yolov4.weights”, “yolov4.cfg”)

classes = []

with open(“coco.names”, “r”) as f:

classes = f.read().splitlines()

# Initialize video capture

cap = cv2.VideoCapture(0)

while True:

# Read frame from video capture

success, img = cap.read()

height, width, _ = img.shape

# Prepare image for detection

blob = cv2.dnn.blobFromImage(img, 1 / 255.0, (416, 416), (0, 0, 0), True, crop=False)

net.setInput(blob)

output_layers_names = net.getUnconnectedOutLayersNames()

layer_outputs = net.forward(output_layers_names)

# Process detections

boxes = []

confidences = []

class_ids = []

for output in layer_outputs:

     for detection in output:

         scores = detection[5:]

        class_id = np.argmax(scores)

         confidence = scores[class_id]

         if confidence > 0.5:

             center_x = int(detection[0] * width)

             center_y = int(detection[1] * height)

             w = int(detection[2] * width)

             h = int(detection[3] * height)

             x = int(center_x – w / 2)

             y = int(center_y – h / 2)

             boxes.append([x, y, w, h])

             confidences.append(float(confidence))

             class_ids.append(class_id)

# Non-maximum suppression to remove redundant detections

indexes = cv2.dnn.NMSBoxes(boxes, confidences, 0.5, 0.4)

# Draw bounding boxes and labels on the image

font = cv2.FONT_HERSHEY_PLAIN

colors = np.random.uniform(0, 255, size=(len(boxes), 3))

if len(indexes) > 0:

     for i in indexes.flatten():

         x, y, w, h = boxes[i]

         label = str(classes[class_ids[i]])

        confidence = str(round(confidences[i], 2))

         color = colors[i]

         cv2.rectangle(img, (x, y), (x + w, y + h), color, 2)

         cv2.putText(img, label + ” ” + confidence, (x, y + 20), font, 2, (255, 255, 255), 2)

# Display the resulting frame

cv2.imshow(‘Image’, img)

if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord(‘q’):

     break

# Release the capture

cap.release()

cv2.destroyAllWindows()

In this code:

Note: The processed frame is displayed in real-time using OpenCV’s imshow() function.

Press ‘q’ to quit the application.

Please make sure to have the YOLOv4 model weights file (yolov4.weights), the configuration file (yolov4.cfg), and the class names file (coco.names) in the working directory. Additionally, you need to have OpenCV installed (pip install opencv-python).

The Best Object Detection Methods for 2023 | A Comprehensive Guide

11. Generating Text with Recurrent Neural Networks

Text generation is a fascinating frontier in natural language processing and artificial intelligence. In this project, beginners train recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to generate coherent text sequences based on input data. By experimenting with architectures like LSTM or GRU, participants delve into language modeling and creative AI applications.

simple example of how you can generate text using a character-level recurrent neural network (RNN) in Python with TensorFlow and Keras:

import numpy as np

import tensorflow as tf

from tensorflow.keras.models import Sequential

from tensorflow.keras.layers import LSTM, Dense

# Load and preprocess text data

text = open(‘your_text_file.txt’, ‘r’).read()

chars = sorted(list(set(text)))

char_indices = {char: i for i, char in enumerate(chars)}

indices_char = {i: char for i, char in enumerate(chars)}

maxlen = 40

step = 3

sentences = []

next_chars = []

for i in range(0, len(text) – maxlen, step):

sentences.append(text[i:i + maxlen])

next_chars.append(text[i + maxlen])

x = np.zeros((len(sentences), maxlen, len(chars)), dtype=np.bool)

y = np.zeros((len(sentences), len(chars)), dtype=np.bool)

for i, sentence in enumerate(sentences):

for t, char in enumerate(sentence):

     x[i, t, char_indices[char]] = 1

y[i, char_indices[next_chars[i]]] = 1

# Build the LSTM model

model = Sequential([

LSTM(128, input_shape=(maxlen, len(chars))),

Dense(len(chars), activation=’softmax’)

])

model.compile(loss=’categorical_crossentropy’, optimizer=’adam’)

# Train the model

model.fit(x, y, batch_size=128, epochs=30)

# Generate text

start_index = np.random.randint(0, len(text) – maxlen – 1)

seed_text = text[start_index:start_index + maxlen]

generated_text = seed_text

for i in range(400):

sampled = np.zeros((1, maxlen, len(chars)))

for t, char in enumerate(seed_text):

     sampled[0, t, char_indices[char]] = 1.

preds = model.predict(sampled, verbose=0)[0]

next_index = np.random.choice(len(chars), p=preds)

next_char = indices_char[next_index]

generated_text += next_char

seed_text = seed_text[1:] + next_char

print(generated_text)

Note: This example demonstrates a basic character-level text generation model using LSTM recurrent neural networks. You can adjust parameters like the number of LSTM units, training epochs, and text generation settings to experiment with different text generation results.

Introduction to Recurrent Neural Network - GeeksforGeeks

Summing up

These eleven Machine Learning projects offer an immersive journey for beginners to explore diverse applications and techniques within the field. By delving into practical implementations and hands-on exercises, participants gain invaluable experience and pave the way for further exploration and innovation in Machine Learning.

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  • Neha Singh

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    I’m a full-time freelance writer and editor who enjoys wordsmithing. The 8 years long journey as a content writer and editor has made me relaize the significance and power of choosing the right words. Prior to my writing journey, I was a trainer and human resource manager. WIth more than a decade long professional journey, I find myself more powerful as a wordsmith. As an avid writer, everything around me inspires me and pushes me to string words and ideas to create unique content; and when I’m not writing and editing, I enjoy experimenting with my culinary skills, reading, gardening, and spending time with my adorable little mutt Neel.