Cost Function

Cost Function

We can measure the accuracy of our hypothesis function by using a cost function. This takes an average difference (actually a fancier version of an average) of all the results of the hypothesis with inputs from x’s and the actual output y’s.

J(\theta_0, \theta_1) = \dfrac {1}{2m} \displaystyle \sum _{i=1}^m \left ( \hat{y}_{i}- y_{i} \right)^2 = \dfrac {1}{2m} \displaystyle \sum _{i=1}^m \left (h_\theta (x_{i}) – y_{i} \right)^2

To break it apart, it is \frac{1}{2} \bar{x} where \bar{x} is the mean of the squares of h_\theta (x_{i}) – y_{i} , or the difference between the predicted value and the actual value.

This function is otherwise called the “Squared error function”, or “Mean squared error”. The mean is halved \left(\frac{1}{2}\right) as a convenience for the computation of the gradient descent, as the derivative term of the square function will cancel out the \frac{1}{2} term. The following image summarizes what the cost function does:

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