Machine learning is quickly becoming the most sought after skill in the job market. Most employers are specifically looking for candidates with experience in Scikit-learn, the most popular ML Python library. Scikit-learn is a library for Python that provides machine learning developers with many unsupervised and supervised learning algorithms.
Today, we’ll explore this awesome library and show you how to implement its core functions. In the end, we’ll combine what we’ve learned to implement your own linear regression algorithm.
Here’s what we’ll cover today:
Master the most popular Scikit-learn functions and ML algorithms using interactive examples, all in one place.
Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn
Scikit-learn (or sklearn for short) is a free open-source machine learning library for Python. It is designed to cooperate with SciPy and NumPy libraries and simplifies data science techniques in Python with built-in support for popular classification, regression, and clustering machine learning algorithms.
Sklearn serves as a unifying point for many ML tools to work seamlessly together. It also gives data scientists a one-stop-shop toolkit to import, preprocess, plot, and predict data.
The project was started by David Cournapeau during the 2007 Google Summer of Code, and this library has grown over the last decade in both popularity and features. Scikit-learn is now the most popular machine learning library on Github.
Scikit-learn provides tools for:
Developers and machine learning engineers use Sklearn because:
Scikit-learn is a tool kit to expand the functions of the existing SciPy Stack (sometimes called the NumPy Stack). Below, we outline how Scikit-learn uses each library within the SciPy stack for data analysis.
Today, I’ll show you how to implement your own linear regression algorithm with scikit learn. Before we begin, you’ll need some foundational knowledge of:
First, you’ll need to install Scikit-Learn. We’ll use pip
for this, but you may also use conda
if you prefer.
For Scikit-learn to work correctly, you’ll need a 64-bit version of Python 3, and the NumPy and SciPy libraries. For visual data plots, you’ll also need matplotlib.
To install Scikit-learn enter the following line into your Python 3.
pip install -U scikit-learn
Then to verify the installation, enter:
python -m pip show scikit-learn # displays which version and where sklearn is installed
python -m pip freeze # displays all packages installed in virtualenv
python -c "import sklearn; sklearn.show_versions()"
Linux users: add
3
afterpip
andpython
in the above lines →pip3
,python3
.
Now to install NumPy, SciPy and, matplotlib, enter:
pip install -U numpy
pip install -U scipy
pip install -U matplotlib
As we did before, we’ll confirm the installation of each with:
python -m pip show numpy
python -m pip show scipy
python -m pip show matplotlib
Now you’re ready to start using Scikit-learn! Let’s jump into our tutorial by importing a dataset.
import.sklearn
The starting point for all machine learning projects is to import your dataset. Scikit-learn includes three helpful options to get data to practice with.
First, the library contains famous datasets like the iris classification dataset or the Boston housing price regression set if you want to practice on a classic set. You can also use Scikit-learn’s predefined functions to download real-world datasets directly from the internet, such as 20 newsgroups
.
Finally, you can simply generate a random dataset to match a certain pattern using Scikit-learn’s data generator. Each of these options requires you to import the datasets
module:
import sklearn.datasets as datasets
First, we’ll import the iris
classification set to see how it’s stored in sklearn.
iris = datasets.load_iris()
The iris
data set is imported as a dictionary-like object with all necessary data and metadata. The data is stored in the 2D array data
field of n_samples
* n_features
.
We can get descriptions of the data and its formatting by using the DESCR
, shape
, and _names
functions. If we print the results of these functions we’ll discover all the information we could need to work with the iris
set.
Targets and Features:
All ML algorithms attempt to increase their understanding of a certain variable, called the target variable. The algorithm then attempts to uncover an unseen relationship between the target variable and other passed feature variables.
import sklearn.datasets as datasetsiris = datasets.load_iris()print("iris dataset is {}".format(iris.DESCR))print("iris data size is {}".format(iris.data.shape))print("iris target size is {}".format(iris.target.shape))print("iris data has {} features, the feature names are {}".format(iris.data.shape[1], iris.feature_names))print("iris data has {} samples, the target label names {}".format(iris.data.shape[1], iris.target_names))
If you don’t want to use any of the built-in datasets, you can generate your own data to match a chosen distribution. Below, we’ll see how to generate regression data and plot it using matplotlib
.
First, import matplotlib
using:
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
Now, we’ll generate a simple regression data set with 1 feature and 1 informative feature.
X, y = datasets.make_regression(n_features=1, n_informative=1)
This generates our dataset and saves it to 2D dataset object x, y
. Changing the parameters of the make_regression
function will alter the characteristics of the data generated. Here, we change the features
and informative
parameters from their default 10 to instead be just 1.
Other popular parameters include samples
that control the number of samples and targets
that control how many target variables are tracked.
Informative vs non-informative feature:
An informative feature is one that provides useful, applicable information to the ML algorithm. These are the data points used to form the trend in regression analysis algorithms. Non-informative features are discarded as unhelpful.
matplotlib
We’ll now plot this graph by entering:
fig, axe = plt.subplots(dpi = 300)
axe.scatter(X, y, marker='o')
axe.set_title("Data generated from make_regression")
fig.savefig("output/img.png")
plt.close(fig)
Line 1 unpacks the plot tuple variable into separate variables fig
and axe
. This allows us to save the figure and manipulate these separate attributes.
Line 2 generates a scatter plot using our generated dataset object x,y
. The marker
parameter determines what visual will be used to mark each data point, in this case, a dot (o
).
Line 3 sets the title of our generated plot.
Line 4 and 5 then save the figure to a .png
image file and close the current figure.
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Most ML engineers agree that data preprocessing is one of the most important steps in the project process. No dataset is perfect: there can be an extraneous data point, reporting errors, and any number of issues that interfere with an algorithm’s prediction.
To prevent this, data scientists spend many hours cleaning, normalizing, and scaling data long before it ever passes into an ML algorithm.
The most common function type you’ll use in this stage are standardizing functions, namely the MinMax
and Standard
functions. This is because features in your data will vary in range. However, nearly all ML algorithms use Euclidean distance to measure the distance between two data points.
Scale standardization functions allow algorithms to properly measure distance by scaling all points in the set to fit the same range.
Both will require you to first import sklearn.preprocessing
and numpy
:
import sklearn.preprocessing as preprocessing
import numpy as np
MinMax
shrinks the range of each figure to be between 0 and 1.
import sklearn.preprocessing as preprocessing
minmax = preprocessing.MinMaxScaler()
## X is a matrix with float type
minmax.fit(X)
X_minmax = minmax.transform(X)
MinMaxScaler
named minmax
.X
Here’s an example of our MinMaxScalar in action!
import sklearn.preprocessing as preprocessingimport numpy as npX = np.random.randint(2, 10, size=(4, 2))X2 = np.random.randint(100, 10000, size=(4, 2))X = np.concatenate((X, X2), axis=1)print("The original matrix")print(X)#### min-max scalerminmax = preprocessing.MinMaxScaler()minmax.fit(X)X_minmax = minmax.transform(X)print("The transform data using min-max scaler")print(X_minmax)
At first, we use Numpy randint
to create a matrix with a size of four rows and two columns, whose number ranges from two to ten.
Then, we create another matrix with the same size, whose numbers range from 100 to 1,000. These two metrics are concatenated into one.
From the output of line 8, you can see that the range of numbers varies greatly for different columns. We then apply our min-max scaler to shrink and standardize the range between features.
If your data instead follows standard deviation, you can use the StandardScaler
instead. This scaler fits a passed data set to be a standard scale along with the standard deviation.
import sklearn.preprocessing as preprocessing
std = preprocessing.StandardScaler()
## X is a matrix
std.fit(X)
X_std = std.transform(X)
Like above, we first create the scaler on line 3, fit the current matrix on line 5, and finally transform the original matrix on line 6.
Let’s see how this scales our same example from above:
import sklearn.preprocessing as preprocessingimport numpy as npX = np.random.randint(2, 10, size=(4, 2))X2 = np.random.randint(100, 10000, size=(4, 2))X = np.concatenate((X, X2), axis=1)print("The original matrix")print(X)std = preprocessing.StandardScaler()std.fit(X)X_std = std.transform(X)print("The transform data using Standard scaler")print(X_std)
Now we’ll implement the linear regression machine learning algorithm using the Boston housing price sample data. As with all ML algorithms, we’ll start with importing our dataset and then train our algorithm using historical data.
Linear regression is a predictive model often used by real businesses. Linear regression seeks to predict the relationship between a scalar response and related explanatory variables to output value with realistic meaning like product sales or housing prices.
This model is best used when you have a log of previous, consistent data and want to predict what will happen next if the pattern continues.
From a mathematical point of view, linear regression is about fitting data to minimize the sum of residuals between each data point and the predicted value. In other words, we are minimizing the discrepancy between the data and the estimation model.
As shown in the figure below, the red line is the model we solved, the blue point is the original data, and the distance between the point and the red line is the residual. Our goal is to minimize the sum of residuals.
import sklearn.datasets as datasetsfrom sklearn.model_selection import train_test_splitfrom sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegressionimport sklearn.metrics as metricshouse = datasets.load_boston()print("The data shape of house is {}".format(house.data.shape))print("The number of feature in this data set is {}".format(house.data.shape[1]))train_x, test_x, train_y, test_y = train_test_split(house.data,house.target,test_size=0.2,random_state=42)print("The first five samples {}".format(train_x[:5]))print("The first five targets {}".format(train_y[:5]))print("The number of samples in train set is {}".format(train_x.shape[0]))print("The number of samples in test set is {}".format(test_x.shape[0]))lr = LinearRegression()lr.fit(train_x, train_y)pred_y = lr.predict(test_x)print("The first five prediction {}".format(pred_y[:5]))print("The real first five labels {}".format(test_y[:5]))mse = metrics.mean_squared_error(test_y, pred_y)print("Mean Squared Error {}".format(mse))
At line 6, we load the dataset by calling load_boston
.
At line 12, we split the dataset into two parts: the train set (80%), and the test set (20%).
At line 23, A linear regression model is created and trained at (in sklearn, the train is equal to fit).
At line 29, we call mean_squared_error
to evaluate the performance of this model.
You’ve just taken your first steps to master Scikit-Learn. Today, we covered the purpose of Sklearn, how to import or generate sample data, how to scale our data, and how to implement the popular linear regression algorithm.
As you continue your Scikit-learn journey, here are some next algorithms and topics to learn:
To help you get started, Educative has created the course Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn. With in-depth explanations of all the Scikit-learn basics and popular ML algorithms, this course will give you everything you need in one place. By the end of this course, you’ll know how and when to use each algorithm and will have the Scikit skills to stand out to any interviewer.
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