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Posts about learning machines

Tuning Hyperparameters

Our last Learning Machines assignment is to calibrate the hyperparameters for a Multilayer Perceptron. Patrick gave us a working model using the MNIST database of handwritten digits. The model uses a Restricted Boltzmann Machine to reduce the dimensionality of the data and then a Multilayer Perceptron to classify the digits.

I was able to achieve an out-of-sample accuracy of almost 96%. This is in line with the results of other researchers.

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Multi-Layer Perceptron Study

Our next assignment is to use a Multi-Layer Perceptron to study a dataset.

The dataset I selected is the commonly studied Poker Hand data. Each record contains data for 5 playing cards and a poker hand classification, such as full house or straight.

This dataset proved to be difficult to work with. It is an example of an imbalanced dataset in that the more common poker hands like two-of-a-kind are heavily represented and the less common hands like straight and flush are not.

I found that the Perceptron was able to correctly classify some poker hands very well while performing terribly for others. I suspect a very different training methodology is required to properly train a Perceptron with this dataset.

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Basic Perceptron

This week's assignment is to code a Perceptron in Python and train it to learn the basic AND, OR, and XOR logic operations.

I created a Perceptron function with parameters that will let me study the operation of this algorithm.

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Clustering and NumPy

K-means clustering

Our second assignment in our Learning Machines class is to implement k-means clustering in Python. I've implemented this in other programming languages but not in Python. Normally I'd use scikit-learn for this but it is a worthwhile exercise to think through how to do this in Python.

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Run Length Encoding

Our first assignment in our Learning Machines class is to implement a run length encoder and decoder. This is a simple data compression algorithm that benefits from repeated patterns.

It happens that I previously had an idea for an Arduino project that requires a light-weight data decompression algorithm to decode audio data. I was going to use run length encoding because it is simple to implement and the code itself won't take up much of the Arduino's precious memory. I'll also need to encode the audio files in Python, and I'll use the below code to do it.

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