The Geophysical Tutorial in the October issue of The Leading Edge was the first we've done on the topic of machine learning. Brendon Hall's article (Hall, 2016) showed readers how to take a small data set — wireline logs and geologic facies data from nine wells in the Hugoton natural gas and helium field of southwest Kansas (Dubois et al., 2007) — and predict the facies in two wells for which the facies data were not available. The article demonstrated with 25 lines of code how to explore the data set, then create, train and test a machine learning model for facies classification, and finally visualize the results. The workflow took a deliberately naive approach using a support vector machine model. It achieved a sort of baseline accuracy rate — a first-order prediction, if you will — of 0.42. That might sound low, but it's not untypical for a naive approach to this kind of problem. For comparison, random draws from the facies distribution score 0.16, which is therefore the true baseline.

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