A retrospective of SVM Tutorial and some new content

Almost six years ago, on October 11, 2014, I published my first article about Support Vector Machines. It was a short article describing how to classify text in C#. My original goal was to create a blog containing a series of tutorials about Support Vector Machines, hence the name of the site: svm-tutorial.

Early days 2014-2015

As I started using this machine learning algorithm, something bothered me. I felt like I could not find any "simple" explanation of the topic. Of course, there were already some resources online, but most of them were talking to a reader with deep mathematical knowledge. It became my goal to explain support vector machines in an approachable way so that anyone who takes the time to read about them can understand them.

On November 2nd, 2014, I started writing my series of articles "Understanding the math" where I tried to explain the mathematics behind Support Vector Machines. It took me 2 years to publish the 6 articles of this series because once again my goal had shifted unexpectedly.

Writing a book 2015-2017

On October 30, 2015, Syncfusion contacted me and proposed me to write an e-book as part of their "Succinctly" ebook series. The idea is to explain technical subjects in a maximum of 100 pages. After some considerations, I accepted the offer.

I started working on the e-book on November 16, 2015, and submitted my final manuscript on February 20, 2017. What I thought would initially take 6 months took a huge part of my life for 15 months, I spent countless evenings, weekends, and 3 or 4 weeks of "holidays" working on the book full time. It involved reading a lot about Support Vector Machines and mathematics, taking the time to write all the examples, the equations, and create all the figures in the book.

Eventually, after the technical review and some delay on the publisher's side, the book was published on October 24, 2017, almost 2 years after the original idea.

Letting the site live by itself 2017-2020

Since the book publication, I did not write any new article about Support Vector Machines or Machine Learning. The subject still interests me, but I did not have the occasion to practice it regularly at work. After working so much on my free time, I decided to give myself a break. Also, I got married and moved from France to Singapore, the kind of events that tend to take quite a bit of time as well.

What happened in 6 years?

Site visitors

This site has been visited by 454 115 people since its creation, with 25% of them coming from India, and 25% from the USA which gives an interesting outlook of where people interested in the subject are.

It received visitors from almost every country in the world, (if you know someone living in Greenland, Chad, or in the Central African Republic share the link with them 😉 )


User Reception

I received a lot of positive comments from all around the world, it is always satisfying knowing that my work has been helpful for somebody eager to learn. There have been several translations of my articles in different languages.

Academic reception

I have been pleased to see this website shared by teachers in universities around the world. I must admit that I never expected it would. Recently, I also discovered that my book has been cited by numerous scientific papers.

New slides explaining Support Vector Machines

Dr. Samir Rustamov from the University of Baku in Azerbaijan created slides from my book to teach Support Vector Machines to his students. I believe they are a perfect complement to the book as they give a good overview of most of the topics covered.

He kindly agreed for me to share them so that they can be used by other teachers/students from all over the world.

You can download the slides below:

What's next?

I would love for this site to continue to be a good place to learn about Support Vector Machines. I am thinking about creating a dedicated page which contains the best resources on the subject.

If you have some recommendations feel free to share them in the comments. 

As always, I like to connect with my readers so do not hesitate to add me on Linkedin.

How can you help this site?

  • If you find the site helpful, do not hesitate to share it with your friends/social network,
  • Add links to the pages you like to your own blog/website (it helps to bring search engine traffic),
  • If you want to translate an article in your language, feel free to do it and share the link with me
  • I would be interested to know which subjects people reading this site want to learn, please tell me about it in the comments.

Conclusion

What started as a small blog six years ago quickly became a very time-consuming endeavor. I put a lot of effort into writing these resources and I am humbled to be read each day and help people learn such a niche topic. If you find yourself fascinated by a subject, trying to explain it is the best way to learn. Thanks again to everyone for your support.

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