What Is Regularization In Machine Learning? 

what is regularization in machine learning

While regularization, in general terms, means to make things more regular or acceptable, his concept in machine learning is quite different. In machine learning, regularization is a procedure that shrinks the co-efficient towards zero. In other terms, regularization means the discouragement of learning a more complex or more flexible machine learning model to prevent overfitting. It is also considered a process of adding more information to resolve a complex issue and avoid over-fitting. Regularization applies mainly to the objective functions in problematic optimization.

How Does Regularization

Regularization in auto machine learning operates in a straightforward pattern. The main idea is to make things in machine learning more regular or acceptable. In the context of machine learning, regularization will discourage the learning of more complex models. Hence the idea is to penalize the complex model, for instance, the addition of a complex term that can lead to a more considerable loss. Mathematically, a linear regression can be used in creating a simple relation in machine learning; Y=W_0+W_1X_1+W_2X_(2)+….W_PX_P.

In this equation, Y is the learned relation or value to be predicted. X_1 X_(2),…w) _P, are the values that determine the value of Y. W_1……are simply the weights attached to the features that determine the value of Y. W_0 represents the bias in this situation.

To slot in a model that will accurately predict Y’s value, we will require a loss function and hen optimize the parameters, which are bias and weights. The loss function that is generally used for linear regression is referred to as “Residual Sum of Squares” or RSS. You may also refer to the RSS as the linear regression objective with no regularization.

It is at this point that regularization will come into action. With the simple calculation above, the machine learning model will learn by the loss function.  It means the weigh coefficients will be adjusted. If the dataset is very noisy,  it will surely face some over-fitting problems. At the same time, the estimated coefficients will not generalize on the unseen data.

The Ridge Regression Regularization Technique

There are two types of regularization techniques, these are the Ridge regression and the Lasso Regression. The main difference between these two is the way they assign a penalty to the coefficients. The ridge regularization technique tend to be the more popular option and I is the oldest type of regularization workout known.

The Ridge regression regularization technique typically performs the L2 regularization. It modifies the RSS by adding the shrinkage quantity or penalty to the estimates’ square, and they will become changed with the loss function.

The addition of the parameter Alpha (α) and the shrinkage quantity are referred to as the “Tuning parameter.” It is the tuning parameter that will determine how much you will penalize your model. The tuning parameter will balance the quantity of emphasis you will minimize the RSS against reducing the squares of coefficients.

Ridge regression summarizes that when the Alpha equals zero, then the penalty term has no effect, and you will get the same coefficients as linear regression. When Alpha (α) is infinite, it means the ridge regression coefficient will become zero because the modified loss function will not depend on core loss and at the same time minimize the coefficient square and thus taken the zero parameters.

When Alpha is more minor than infinite value, then the ridge regression coefficient will have a value of between 0 and 1.  The boom line is that you need to choose a good value for your Alpha when using the ridge regression technique for regularization.

The Lasso Regression Regularization Technique or L1 Regularization

This regularization technique performs the L1 regularization method by modifying the RSS by adding the penalty or shrinkage quantity equivalent to the value or sum of the coefficients.

Lasso regression is entirely different from the Ridge regression method of regularization because it uses the absolute coefficient values for normalization. The loss functions will only consider the total coefficient or weights, and the optimization algorithm will likely penalize high coefficients, referred to as “L1 norm”.

Lasso regression summarizes that when Alpha equals zero, you will get the same linear regression equation’s coefficient. When Alpha is equaled to infinity, the lasso regression coefficient will automatically be equal to zero. When Alpha is less than infinite, the lasso regression will run automatically between 0 and 1.

The ridge regression coefficient comes with the smallest loss function for all points that lie within the equation.

Both the lasso and ridge regression method of regularization work efficiently to find solutions in machine learning. When carefully used in machine learning, both lasso and ridge regression for regularization will provide the most accurate mathematical model for machine learning.

What Are The Advantages Of Regularization In Machine Learning?

Perhaps the main advantage in regularizing machine learning procedures is that it helps in reducing complexities. Some companies build their own regularization techniques to manage machine learning model bias and variance for software testing. These techniques have been proven to result in an overall reduction in maintenance of automated tests. When you reduce complexities, you will arrive at solutions much faster without creating mis-fittings. Another benefit is that regularization will help reduce the costs of producing a specific output when the proper coefficients are used for solving issues.

Regularization will require a knowledgeable person who understands the use of coefficient value and Calculus. Without the proper knowledge, it cannot be easy to attain a reliable formula to actualize the appropriate regularization techniques.


Regularization helps reduce errors by simply including a function amid the given set and avoiding overfitting. The goal of regularization is to find the underlying patterns in the dataset before generalizing it to predict the corresponding target values for some new values in the machine learning strategy. The use of the calculus formula in reducing machine learning errors is highly effective, even though it works on a predictive premise of assigning values to different components. It is also essential to know that the objective is to have the best machine learning components without creating much complexity. With regularization techniques, the more complex resolutions  are handled while using various machine learning formulas; this will help avoid complexities in the development of final products.