Bias and variance are often presented in technical terms, but they also have an intuitive interpretation.

If you take a machine learning course, at some point you will encounter the bias-variance trade-off. You probably feel like you sort of understand it, but not really. Later you see these two words thrown around in books, articles and talks, and you realize you still don’t have a good intuitive sense of what bias and variance are. This article is for you.

I do not intend to get into the technical definitions and I will leave out any formulas. I assume my audience understands basic ML concepts such as why data is split into training, validation, and test sets…

Seth Mottaghinejad

Data scientist. Polymath. Polyglot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store