# Maximum margin classification with support vector machines

Another powerful and widely used learning algorithm is the **support vector machine** (**SVM**), which can be considered an extension of the perceptron. Using the perceptron algorithm, we minimized misclassification errors. However, in SVMs our optimization objective is to maximize the margin. The margin is defined as the distance between the separating hyperplane (decision boundary) and the training examples that are closest to this hyperplane, which are the so-called **support vectors**. This is illustrated in the following figure:

## Maximum margin intuition

The rationale behind having decision boundaries with large margins is that they tend to have a lower generalization error, whereas models with small margins are more prone to overfitting. To get an idea of the margin maximization, let's take a closer look at those positive and negative hyperplanes that are parallel to the decision boundary, which can be expressed as...