Saturday, July 1, 2017

Machine learning 13: Using scikit-learn Part 1 - Basics

The material is based on my workshop at Berkeley - Machine learning with scikit-learn. I convert it here so that there will be more explanation. Note that, the code is written using Python 3.6. It is better to read the slides I have first, which you can find it here. You can find the notebook on Qingkai's Github. 

Scikit-learn Basics

In the next few weeks, we will introduce scikit-learn, a popular package containing a collection of tools for machine learning written in Python. See more at It has many existing algorithms that implemented and tested by many volunteers, therefore, before you decide to write some algorithms by yourself, check if it is already there. 
The first thing when you build a working machine learning algorithm, you need data. You can always start with your own data from specific problems, but you can also first build a prototype using existing data that already included in scikit-learn.

Loading an example dataset

Let's start by loading some pre-existing datasets in the scikit-learn, which comes with a few standard datasets. For example, the iris and digits datasets for classification and the boston house prices dataset for regression. Using these existing datasets, we can easily test the algorithms that we are interested in. 
A dataset is a dictionary-like object that holds all the data and some metadata about the data. This data is stored in the .data member, which is a n_samples, n_features array. In the case of supervised problem, one or more response variables are stored in the .target member. More details on the different datasets can be found in the dedicated section.

Load iris

The iris dataset consists of 50 samples from each of three species of Iris (Iris setosa, Iris virginica and Iris versicolor). Four features were measured from each sample: the length and the width of the sepals and petals, in centimetres.
Iris SetosaIris VirginicaIris Versicolor
Iris SetosaIris VirginicaIris Versicolor
import warnings

from sklearn import datasets
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np'seaborn-poster')
%matplotlib inline
# load the data
iris = datasets.load_iris()

dict_keys(['data', 'target', 'target_names', 'DESCR', 'feature_names'])
There are five keys here, and data and target are storing the data and the label we are interested. feature_names and target_names are the corresponding header names. The DESCR has a list of information about this dataset. Let's print out each one of them and have a look. 
# only print the first 10 samples
print('We have %d data samples with %d features'%([0],[1]))
['sepal length (cm)', 'sepal width (cm)', 'petal length (cm)', 'petal width (cm)']
[[ 5.1  3.5  1.4  0.2]
 [ 4.9  3.   1.4  0.2]
 [ 4.7  3.2  1.3  0.2]
 [ 4.6  3.1  1.5  0.2]
 [ 5.   3.6  1.4  0.2]
 [ 5.4  3.9  1.7  0.4]
 [ 4.6  3.4  1.4  0.3]
 [ 5.   3.4  1.5  0.2]
 [ 4.4  2.9  1.4  0.2]
 [ 4.9  3.1  1.5  0.1]]
We have 150 data samples with 4 features
The data is always a 2D array, shape (n_samples, n_features), although the original data may have had a different shape. The following prints out the target names and the representation of the target using 0, 1, 2. Each of them represents a class. 
['setosa' 'versicolor' 'virginica']
{0, 1, 2}
Iris Plants Database

Data Set Characteristics:
    :Number of Instances: 150 (50 in each of three classes)
    :Number of Attributes: 4 numeric, predictive attributes and the class
    :Attribute Information:
        - sepal length in cm
        - sepal width in cm
        - petal length in cm
        - petal width in cm
        - class:
                - Iris-Setosa
                - Iris-Versicolour
                - Iris-Virginica
    :Summary Statistics:

    ============== ==== ==== ======= ===== ====================
                    Min  Max   Mean    SD   Class Correlation
    ============== ==== ==== ======= ===== ====================
    sepal length:   4.3  7.9   5.84   0.83    0.7826
    sepal width:    2.0  4.4   3.05   0.43   -0.4194
    petal length:   1.0  6.9   3.76   1.76    0.9490  (high!)
    petal width:    0.1  2.5   1.20  0.76     0.9565  (high!)
    ============== ==== ==== ======= ===== ====================

    :Missing Attribute Values: None
    :Class Distribution: 33.3% for each of 3 classes.
    :Creator: R.A. Fisher
    :Donor: Michael Marshall (
    :Date: July, 1988

This is a copy of UCI ML iris datasets.

The famous Iris database, first used by Sir R.A Fisher

This is perhaps the best known database to be found in the
pattern recognition literature.  Fisher's paper is a classic in the field and
is referenced frequently to this day.  (See Duda & Hart, for example.)  The
data set contains 3 classes of 50 instances each, where each class refers to a
type of iris plant.  One class is linearly separable from the other 2; the
latter are NOT linearly separable from each other.

   - Fisher,R.A. "The use of multiple measurements in taxonomic problems"
     Annual Eugenics, 7, Part II, 179-188 (1936); also in "Contributions to
     Mathematical Statistics" (John Wiley, NY, 1950).
   - Duda,R.O., & Hart,P.E. (1973) Pattern Classification and Scene Analysis.
     (Q327.D83) John Wiley & Sons.  ISBN 0-471-22361-1.  See page 218.
   - Dasarathy, B.V. (1980) "Nosing Around the Neighborhood: A New System
     Structure and Classification Rule for Recognition in Partially Exposed
     Environments".  IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine
     Intelligence, Vol. PAMI-2, No. 1, 67-71.
   - Gates, G.W. (1972) "The Reduced Nearest Neighbor Rule".  IEEE Transactions
     on Information Theory, May 1972, 431-433.
   - See also: 1988 MLC Proceedings, 54-64.  Cheeseman et al"s AUTOCLASS II
     conceptual clustering system finds 3 classes in the data.
   - Many, many more ...

Load Digits

This dataset is made up of 1797 8x8 images. Each image, like the ones shown below, is of a hand-written digit. In order to utilize an 8x8 figure like this, we’d have to first transform it into a feature vector with length 64.
digits = datasets.load_digits()
print('We have %d samples'%len(
We have 1797 samples
print('The targets are:')
[[  0.   0.   5. ...,   0.   0.   0.]
 [  0.   0.   0. ...,  10.   0.   0.]
 [  0.   0.   0. ...,  16.   9.   0.]
 [  0.   0.   1. ...,   6.   0.   0.]
 [  0.   0.   2. ...,  12.   0.   0.]
 [  0.   0.  10. ...,  12.   1.   0.]]
The targets are:
[0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9]
In the digits, each original sample is an image of shape (8, 8) and it is flattened into a 64 dimension vector here. 
(1797, 64)
## plot the first 64 samples, and get a sense of the data
fig = plt.figure(figsize = (8,8))
fig.subplots_adjust(left=0, right=1, bottom=0, top=1, hspace=0.05, wspace=0.05)
for i in range(64):
    ax = fig.add_subplot(8, 8, i+1, xticks=[], yticks=[])
    ax.text(0, 7, str([i]))

Load Boston Housing Data

The Boston housing dataset reports the median value of owner-occupied homes in various places in the Boston area, together with several variables which might help to explain the variation in median value, such as Crime (CRIM), areas of non-retail business in the town (INDUS), the age of people who own the house (AGE), and there are many other attributes that you can find the details here. 
boston = datasets.load_boston()
Boston House Prices dataset

Data Set Characteristics:  

    :Number of Instances: 506 

    :Number of Attributes: 13 numeric/categorical predictive

    :Median Value (attribute 14) is usually the target

    :Attribute Information (in order):
        - CRIM     per capita crime rate by town
        - ZN       proportion of residential land zoned for lots over 25,000 sq.ft.
        - INDUS    proportion of non-retail business acres per town
        - CHAS     Charles River dummy variable (= 1 if tract bounds river; 0 otherwise)
        - NOX      nitric oxides concentration (parts per 10 million)
        - RM       average number of rooms per dwelling
        - AGE      proportion of owner-occupied units built prior to 1940
        - DIS      weighted distances to five Boston employment centres
        - RAD      index of accessibility to radial highways
        - TAX      full-value property-tax rate per $10,000
        - PTRATIO  pupil-teacher ratio by town
        - B        1000(Bk - 0.63)^2 where Bk is the proportion of blacks by town
        - LSTAT    % lower status of the population
        - MEDV     Median value of owner-occupied homes in $1000's

    :Missing Attribute Values: None

    :Creator: Harrison, D. and Rubinfeld, D.L.

This is a copy of UCI ML housing dataset.

This dataset was taken from the StatLib library which is maintained at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Boston house-price data of Harrison, D. and Rubinfeld, D.L. 'Hedonic
prices and the demand for clean air', J. Environ. Economics & Management,
vol.5, 81-102, 1978.   Used in Belsley, Kuh & Welsch, 'Regression diagnostics
...', Wiley, 1980.   N.B. Various transformations are used in the table on
pages 244-261 of the latter.

The Boston house-price data has been used in many machine learning papers that address regression


   - Belsley, Kuh & Welsch, 'Regression diagnostics: Identifying Influential Data and Sources of Collinearity', Wiley, 1980. 244-261.
   - Quinlan,R. (1993). Combining Instance-Based and Model-Based Learning. In Proceedings on the Tenth International Conference of Machine Learning, 236-243, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Morgan Kaufmann.
   - many more! (see
array(['CRIM', 'ZN', 'INDUS', 'CHAS', 'NOX', 'RM', 'AGE', 'DIS', 'RAD',
       'TAX', 'PTRATIO', 'B', 'LSTAT'],
# let's just plot the average number of rooms per dwelling with the price
plt.figure(figsize = (10,8))
plt.plot([:,5],, 'o')
plt.xlabel('Number of rooms')
plt.ylabel('Price (thousands)')
<matplotlib.text.Text at 0x10f4a40f0>

The Scikit-learn Estimator Object

Every algorithm is exposed in scikit-learn via an ''Estimator'' object. For instance a linear regression is implemented as so:
from sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegression
Estimator parameters: All the parameters of an estimator can be set when it is instantiated, and have suitable default values:
# you can check the parameters as
# let's change one parameter
model = LinearRegression(normalize=True)
LinearRegression(copy_X=True, fit_intercept=True, n_jobs=1, normalize=True)
Estimated Model parameters: When data is fit with an estimator, parameters are estimated from the data at hand. All the estimated parameters are attributes of the estimator object ending by an underscore:

Simple regression problem

Let's fit a simple linear regression model to see what is the sklearn API looks like. We use a very simple dataset with 10 samples with added in noise. 
x = np.arange(10)
y = 2 * x + 1
plt.figure(figsize = (10,8))
[<matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x10fdcacc0>]
# generate noise between -1 to 1
# this seed is just to make sure your results are the same as mine
noise = 2 * np.random.rand(10) - 1

# add noise to the data
y_noise = y + noise
plt.figure(figsize = (10,8))
[<matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x10ff89b70>]
# The input data for sklearn is 2D: (samples == 10 x features == 1)
X = x[:, np.newaxis]
[  0.74908024   3.90142861   5.46398788   7.19731697   8.31203728
  10.31198904  12.11616722  15.73235229  17.20223002  19.41614516]
# model fitting is via the fit function, y_noise)
LinearRegression(copy_X=True, fit_intercept=True, n_jobs=1, normalize=True)
# underscore at the end indicates a fit parameter
[ 1.99519708]
# then we can use the fitted model to predict new data
predicted = model.predict(X)
plt.figure(figsize = (10,8))
plt.plot(x,predicted, label = 'Prediction')
<matplotlib.legend.Legend at 0x11014bb00>


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