Learning To Learn: Introduction
Over the past three decades or so, research on machine learning and data mining has led to a wide variety of algorithms that learn general functions from experience. As machine learning is maturing, it has begun to make the successful transition from academic research to various practical applications. Generic techniques such as decision trees and artificial neural networks, for example, are now being used in various commercial and industrial applications (see e.g., [31, 75]). "Learning to learn" is an exciting new research direction within machine learning . Similar to traditional machine learning algorithms, the methods described in this book induce general functions from experience. However, the book investigates algorithms that can change the way they generalise, ie practise the task of learning itself, and improve on it.