# Concept learning as search through a hypothesis space

Concept learning can be viewed as the task of searching through a large space of hypotheses implicitly defined by the hypothesis representation. The goal of this search is to find the hypothesis that best fits the training examples. It is important to note that by selecting a hypothesis representation, the designer of the learning algorithm implicitly defines the space of all hypotheses that the program can ever represent and therefore can ever learn.

Let X denote the instances and H as hypotheses in the EnjoySport learning task. Lets compute the distinct instances and hypothesis in X and H respectively as below. Out hypothesis h is a vector of six constraints, specifying the values of the six attributes <Sky, Air Temperature, Humidity, Wind, Water, Forecast>. In this hypothesis representation, value of each attribute could be either “?” or “0” other than defined values. So the hypothesis space H has 5120 distinct hypothesis.

The number of combinations: 5×4×4×4×4×4 = 5120 syntactically distinct hypotheses. They are syntactically distinct but not semantically. For example, the below 2 hypothesis says the same but they look different.

h1 = <Sky=0 AND Temp=warm AND Humidity=? AND Wind=strong AND Water=warm AND Forecast=same >

h2 = <Sky=sunny AND Temp=warm AND Humidity=? AND Wind=strong AND Water=0 AND Forecast=same>

Neither of these hypotheses accept any “day”, so semantically the same. All such hypothesis having same semantic is counted as 1. So we can have total number of combinations as below.
1 (hypothesis with one or more 0) + 4×3×3×3×3×3 (add ? to each attribute) = 973 semantically distinct hypotheses

If we view learning as a search problem, then it is natural that our study of learning algorithms will examine the different strategies for searching the hypothesis space. We will be particularly interested in algorithms capable of efficiently searching very large or infinite hypothesis spaces, to find the hypotheses that best fit the training data.

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