Markov Models

...For someone from a maths or technical ground, this is a useful primer....

There are some very minor flaws with the text formatting, for example Bolding turning off halfway through a word like this. However, the book also contains numerous equations and complex images, and I can’t fault the formating on those. The english is also extremely good and it is generally well-written and understandable, although there are a few odd phrasing mistakes – “by enlarge” used for “by and large” on loc 108, and “we have seen” repeated in a sentence at loc 111.

Being pedantic I could point out a few real world flaws in some of his examples. As someone who turns off predictive text due to is inaccuracies and the havoc it can create in a review, telling me that Markov chains run it isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Nor is a model of site priority Google abandoned in 2014 as it was creating a self-reinforcing system of echo chambers. As examples however they are quickly identifiable and relatable.

The book is tackling a complex subject, and overall I think it does it really well. I’m not sure how useful this would be to a complete beginner, and it states up front that it assumes a high school level of maths. For the UK, you can probably get away with GCSE or O-level maths knowledge: it’s all I’ve got and I didn’t have any real problems following it.

I couldn’t suggest this to a general reader, as it is dry as bone, but then it isn’t meant for one. For students having trouble understanding Markov chains, or someone from a maths or technical ground coming to it as an adult, this is a useful primer.

Rating: 3
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