In machine learning, pattern recognition and in image processing, feature extraction starts from an initial set of measured data and builds derived values (features) intended to be informative and non-redundant, facilitating the subsequent learning and generalization steps, and in some cases leading to better human interpretations. Feature extraction is related to dimensionality reduction.
When the input data to an algorithm is too large to be processed and it is suspected to be redundant (e.g. the same measurement in both feet and meters, or the repetitiveness of images presented as pixels), then it can be transformed into a reduced set of features (also named a feature vector). Determining a subset of the initial features is called feature selection. The selected features are expected to contain the relevant information from the input data, so that the desired task can be performed by using this reduced representation instead of the complete initial data.