Deep Learning and AI

Which Machine Learning Framework Should I Use

August 24, 2023 • 12 min read



Machine learning has become a pivotal in lots of different industries in helping businesses get useful info from data and to smart and educated choices. However, with so many machine learning tools around, picking the right one is a trick job in of itself.

Various frameworks shine in different ways and knowing when to use each is super important for making things work seamlessly. We're going to check out some popular machine learning frameworks and see highlight some general use cases.

Supervised Learning, Regression, and Classification

Supervised learning is a widely used technique in which a model learns patterns and relationships from labeled training data to make predictions on unseen examples. Regression and classification are two common types of supervised learning.


Regression models work to forecast continuous numerical values. These models fit well when dealing with a continuous target variable and when the interplay between features and the target follows either a linear or nonlinear pattern. Among the classic regression methods is linear regression, which finds application across frameworks like scikit-learn, TensorFlow, and PyTorch. For example, regression can be used to predicting housing prices by considering factors such as square footage, room count, location, and more.


Classification models are used when the target variable is categorical, and the goal is to assign new examples to predefined classes. Decision trees, random forests, and support vector machines (SVM) are popular algorithms for classification. Frameworks like scikit-learn provide implementations for these algorithms. For example, classification can be used for email spam detection, where the model classifies incoming emails as either spam or non-spam based on various features like subject, sender, and content.

Unsupervised Learning

Unsupervised learning involves extracting patterns and structures from unlabeled data without specific guidance. This technique is useful for tasks such as clustering, dimensionality reduction, and anomaly detection.


Clustering algorithms group similar examples together based on their inherent patterns or similarities. K-means clustering, and hierarchical clustering are widely used algorithms in this domain. Frameworks like scikit-learn, TensorFlow, and PyTorch provide implementations for clustering algorithms. An application of clustering is customer segmentation, where customers with similar behavior or preferences are grouped together to personalize marketing strategies.

Dimensionality Reduction: 

Dimensionality reduction techniques aim to reduce the noisy and irrelevant features of the data while retaining as much relevant information. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and t-SNE (t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding) are popular dimensionality reduction algorithms. Frameworks like scikit-learn and TensorFlow offer implementations for these techniques. Dimensionality reduction is often applied in image processing to reduce the complexity of images while retaining critical visual information such as facial recognition.

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is a technique where an agent learns to make optimal decisions by interacting with an environment and receiving feedback in the form of rewards. This approach is suitable for sequential decision-making problems.

Frameworks like OpenAI Gym and TensorFlow provide tools and environments for reinforcement learning. One practical use case for reinforcement learning is training autonomous robots to navigate through complex environments by learning from trial and error, with the reward being reaching the desired goal.

  1. OpenAI Gym: As one of the most widely used reinforcement learning frameworks it provides a standardized interface for designing and evaluating RL algorithms. OpenAI Gym offers a collection of pre-defined environments, including classic control problems and Atari 2600 games. It simplifies the RL development process by providing an easy-to-use API and a range of built-in environments. OpenAI Gym is suitable for beginners and researchers looking to quickly prototype and experiment with RL algorithms.
  2. TF-Agents: Developed by Google, this an open-source library focuses on providing reusable components for building RL agents. It integrates seamlessly with TensorFlow, a popular deep learning framework, and leverages its computational graph capabilities. TF-Agents offers a range of features, including various state and action representations, replay buffers, and common RL algorithms. This framework is well-suited for researchers and practitioners who prefer TensorFlow as their primary deep learning framework and require extensive customization and flexibility in their RL implementations.
  3. Ray RLlib: Developed by the creators of the Ray framework, Ray RLlib is a scalable and distributed RL library. It enables the efficient execution of RL algorithms across multiple machines, making it ideal for large-scale training and deployment scenarios. Ray RLlib supports a wide range of algorithms, including popular methods like PPO, DQN, and IMPALA. Additionally, it provides advanced features like automatic algorithm selection, hyperparameter tuning, and multi-agent support. Ray RLlib is recommended for researchers and practitioners who require high scalability and want to leverage distributed computing capabilities for RL training.

ML for Time-series Analysis and Forecasting

There are several machine learning algorithms that can be used for predicting event probability based on time-series data. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Logistic regression: Logistic regression is a common algorithm used for predicting probabilities. It models the probability of an event occurring given input variables. It can be used to predict the probability of an event occurring at a specific time based on historical data.
  2. Time-series analysis: Time-series analysis involves analyzing data points collected over time to identify patterns and trends. This approach can be used to predict the probability of an event occurring at a specific time in the future based on historical data.
  3. Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA): ARIMA is a statistical model used for time-series forecasting. It models the time-series data based on its past values and adjusts for trends and seasonality to make future predictions.
  4. Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks: LSTM networks are a type of recurrent neural network (RNN) that can be used for time-series forecasting. They can capture long-term dependencies in time-series data and are particularly useful for sequences with complex temporal patterns.
  5. Gradient Boosted Trees (GBTs): GBTs are a type of ensemble learning algorithm that can be used for time-series forecasting. They combine multiple decision trees to make more accurate predictions and can handle large datasets with many input variables.

The choice of algorithm will depend on the specific requirements of your problem, the size of your dataset, and the level of accuracy you need.

Deep Learning

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that utilizes artificial neural networks with multiple layers to extract complex patterns and features from data. It has revolutionized various domains such as computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

Frameworks like TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Keras are widely used for deep learning. They provide high-level abstractions and efficient implementations of neural network architectures. An example use case for deep learning is image recognition, where convolutional neural networks (CNNs) are used to classify images of animals into different categories based on distinctive features learned from a vast collection of labeled pictures during its training.

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Self-Supervised Learning

Machine learning models have traditionally relied on labeled data for training, which is a resource intensive process involving manual annotation that can get expensive quick. However, self-supervised learning (SSL) offers an alternative approach that allows models to learn from unlabeled data. This branch of machine learning exploits inherent data patterns to generate training signals, akin to supervision. Unlike traditional supervised learning, which requires explicit human-provided labels, self-supervised learning extracts useful information from unlabeled data to learn meaningful representations.

In self-supervised learning, the training process typically involves two main steps: pre-training and fine-tuning.

  1. Pre-training: In the initial pre-training phase, a model learns to predict aspects of data without explicit labels. Notable techniques encompass autoencoders, generative models, and contrastive learning. For instance, consider an autoencoder, which reconstructs input data from a compressed form, imbibing valuable features along the way.
  2. Fine-tuning: Once the model has been pre-trained on unlabeled data, it can be fine-tuned on a smaller labeled dataset for the specific task at hand. The pre-trained model acts as a strong initialization, which helps the model generalize better with less labeled data. This fine-tuning process employs supervised learning, optimizing the model with labeled examples.

Benefits of this learning framework include:

  1. Leveraging Unlabeled Data: Self-supervised learning taps into vast pools of unlabeled data, often underutilized due to annotation challenges. This reduces the need for manual annotation, making the training process more scalable and cost-effective.
  2. Generalization: By learning from the intrinsic patterns in the data, self-supervised learning can capture high-level features that are transferable across different tasks and domains. This enables models to generalize well even when faced with limited labeled data.
  3. Domain Adaptation: Self-supervised learning is particularly useful in scenarios where labeled data from the target domain is scarce, but a large amount of unlabeled data from a related source domain is available. Pre-training on the source domain can help the model learn relevant representations that can be fine-tuned for the target domain.

Large Language Models

Large language models, such as GPT-3, have gained significant attention in recent years. These models are pre-trained on vast amounts of text data and can generate human-like text based on given prompts. They excel in natural language understanding and generation tasks.

Frameworks like Hugging Face's Transformers and OpenAI's GPT-3/ GPT 3.5 Turbo, and latest GPT-4 API provide access to pre-trained language models. Practical applications of large language models include text summarization, chatbots, and language translation.

Some of the practical usage and potential application areas of LLMs and generative AI are:

  1. Transforming Content Creation: One of the most prominent uses of generative AI is in content creation. Large language models enable automated generation of text, enabling content creators, marketers, and writers to streamline their workflow. Language models can generate blog posts, articles, social media content, product descriptions, and more. They can assist in brainstorming ideas, suggesting headlines, and even refining language and tone to match specific target audiences.
  2. Revolutionizing Customer Service and Chatbots: Generative AI plays a vital role in revolutionizing customer service and enhancing user experiences. Chatbots powered by large language models can provide instant and accurate responses to user queries, simulating human-like conversations. They can handle repetitive tasks, answer FAQs, provide recommendations, and assist users in navigating websites or applications.
  3. Augmenting Creative Industries: The creative domain benefits greatly from the capabilities of generative AI. Artists, musicians, and designers can leverage large language models to explore new ideas, generate novel designs, compose music, or aid in scriptwriting. They can provide inspiration, generate lyrics, or even create entirely new artwork based on given prompts.
  4. Facilitating Language Learning and Translation: Large language models can serve as powerful tools for language learning and translation. They can provide real-time language assistance, helping learners improve their grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Language models can also facilitate translation services by offering accurate and contextually appropriate translations between different languages. 

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Machine Learning Framework for Your Task

In conclusion, choosing the right machine learning framework depends on the specific task at hand. Supervised learning frameworks like scikit-learn, TensorFlow, and PyTorch are suitable for regression and classification problems.

Unsupervised learning frameworks such as scikit-learn, TensorFlow, and PyTorch are useful for tasks like clustering and dimensionality reduction. Reinforcement learning frameworks like OpenAI Gym and TensorFlow are appropriate for sequential decision-making problems. Deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Keras excel in tasks that involve complex patterns and feature extraction. 

Lastly, frameworks like Transformers and GPT-3/4 API are ideal for leveraging large language models for natural language understanding and generation tasks. By understanding the strengths and use cases of different frameworks, practitioners can effectively apply machine learning techniques to solve real-world problems.

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