Dataset Search: Google launches new search engine to help scientists find datasets – The Verge

Google is launching a new service for scientists, journalists, and anyone else looking to track down data online. It’s called Dataset Search, and it will hopefully unify the fragmented world of open data repositories.
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Data & AI Digest for 2018-09-05

Blue Bikes is a bicycle sharing system in the Boston, Massachusetts. The bikes sharing program started on 28 July 2011. This program aimed for individuals to use it for short-term basis for a price. The program allows individuals to borrow a bike from a dock station and retrun to another dock station after using it. […]
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Seaborn Categorical Plots in Python

CategoriesVisualizing Data
Data Visualisation
R Programming
Tips & Tricks
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You might have read my blog post analyzing the social weather of
based on a text analysis of GitHub issues. I extracted text out of
Markdown-formatted threads with regular expressions. I basically
hammered away at the issues using tools I was familiar with until it
worked! Now I know there’s a much better and cleaner way, that I’ll
present in this note. Read on if you want to extract insights about
text, code, links, etc. from R Markdown reports, Hugo website sources,
GitHub issues… without writing messy and smelly code!

Introduction to Markdown rendering and parsing

This note will appear to you, dear reader, as an html page, either here
on or on R-Bloggers, but I’m writing it as an R Markdown
document, using Markdown syntax. I’ll knit it to Markdown and then
Hugo’s Markdown processor,
Blackfriday, will transform
it to html. Elements such as # blabla thus get transformed to
blabla. Awesome!

The rendering of Markdown to html or XML can also be used as a way to
parse it, which is what the spelling package does in order to
identify text
of R Markdown files, before spell checking them only, not code. I had an
aha moment when seeing this spelling strategy: why did I ever use
regex to parse Markdown for text analysis?! Transforming it to XML
first, and then using XPath, would be much cleaner!

As a side-note, realizing how to simplify my old code made me think of
Jenny Bryan’s inspiring useR! keynote talk about code
smells. I asked her
whether code full of regular expressions instead of dedicated parsing
tools was a code smell, sadly it doesn’t have a specific name, but she
confirmed my feeling that not using dedicated purpose-built tools
might mean you’ll end up “re-inventing all of that logic yourself, in
hacky way.”. If you have code falling under the definition below, maybe
try to re-factor and if needed get

It’s that feeling when you want to do something that sounds simple but
instead your code is like 10 stack overflow snippets slapped together
that you could never explain to another human what they do 😰

— Dr. Alison Hill (@apreshill)
d’agost de 2018

From Markdown to XML

In this note I’ll use my local fork of rOpenSci’s website source, and
use all the Markdown sources of blog posts as example data. The chunk
below is therefore not portable, sorry about that.

roblog %
commonmark::markdown_xml(extensions = TRUE) %__%

See what it gives me for one post.


## {xml_document}
## [1] \n We just released a new version of \n __ …
## [2] \n First, install and load taxize\ …
## [3] install.packages(“rgbif”)\n
## [4] library(taxize)\n
## [5] \n New things\n
## [6] \n New functions: class2tree\n
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If you want to do statistical analysis or machine learning with data in SQL Server, you can of course extract the data from SQL Server and then analyze it in R or Python. But a better way is to run R or Python within the database, using Microsoft ML Services in SQL Server 2017. Why? It’s faster. Not only to you get to use the SQL Server instance (which is likely to be faster than your local machine), but it also means you no longer have to transport the data over a network, which is likely to be the biggest…
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Week 1 Gold Mining and Fantasy Football Projection Roundup now available. Go get that free agent gold!
The post Gold-Mining W1 (2018) appeared first on Fantasy Football Analytics.
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Data & AI Digest for 2018-08-29

The post Microsoft 365 is the smartest place to store your content appeared first on The AI Blog.
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The post AI and fish farming: High-tech help for a sushi and sashimi favorite in Japan appeared first on The AI Blog.
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Digitization of healthcare information, EHR systems, precision and personalized medicine, health information exchange, consumer health, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and other major trends affecting healthcare are accelerating this data growth rate.
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The videos from the NYC R conference have been published, and there are so many great talks there to explore. I highly recommend checking them out: you’ll find a wealth of interesting R applications, informative deep dives on using R (and a few other applications as well), and some very entertaining deliveries. In this post, I wanted to highlight a couple of talks in particular. The talk by Jonathan Hersh (Chapman University), Applying Deep Learning to Satellite Images to Estimate Violence in Syria and Poverty in Mexico is both fascinating and a real technical achievement. In the first part of…
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Hi everyone! In this series we are going to work with a gene called the Mitochondrial Control Region. This series will be about getting some insights into it from sequence analysis. We are going through the entire process, from getting data to reach some conclusions and more importantly raise some questions. All of the bash […]
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Welcome to Part Two of the three-part tutorial series on proteomics data analysis. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to identify proteins whose abundance is different bewteen the drug-resistant cells and the control. In other words, we are looking for a list of differentially regulated proteins that may shed light on how cells escape […]
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A collection of some commonly used and some newly developed methods for the visualization of outcomes in oncology studies include Kaplan-Meier curves, forest plots, funnel plots, violin plots, waterfall plots, spider plots, swimmer plot, heatmaps, circos plots, transit map diagrams and network analysis diagrams (reviewed here). Previous articles in this blog presented an introduction to … Continue reading Visualization of Tumor Response – Spider Plots
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Data & AI Digest for 2018-08-14

Keep current on what’s happening in Azure, including what’s now in preview, generally available, news & updates, and more.
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We continue to expand the Azure Marketplace ecosystem. From July 1 to 15, 98 new offers successfully met the onboarding criteria and went live.
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You can accelerate your cloud migration using intelligent migration assessment services like Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate is a generally available service, offered at no additional charge, that helps you plan your migration to Azure.
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The data.table R package is really good at sorting. Below is a comparison of it versus dplyr for a range of problem sizes. The graph is using a log-log scale (so things are very compressed). But data.table is routinely 7 times faster than dplyr. The ratio of run times is shown below. Notice on the … Continue reading data.table is Really Good at Sorting
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Introduction As part of our effort to provide users ways to replicate our analyses and improve their performance in fantasy football, we are continuously looking at ways we can improve[…]
The post 2018 Update of ffanalytics R Package appeared first on Fantasy Football Analytics.
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The development version of splashr now support authenticated connections to Splash API instances. Just specify user and pass on the initial splashr::splash() call to use your scraping setup a bit more safely. For those not familiar with splashr and/or Splash: the latter is a lightweight alternative to tools like Selenium and the former is an… Continue reading →
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I love Arkham Horror; The Card Game. I love it more than I really should;it’s ridiculously fun. It’s a cooperative card game where you build a deck representing a character in the Cthulhu mythos universe, and with that deck you play scenarios in a narrative campaign where you grapple with the horrors of the mythos. Your actions in (and between) scenarios have repercussions for how the campaign plays out, changing the story, and you use experience points accumulated in the scenarios to upgrade your deck with better cards.
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Model interpretability is critical to businesses. If you want to use high performance models (GLM, RF, GBM, Deep Learning, H2O, Keras, xgboost, etc), you need to learn how to explain them. With machine learning interpretability growing in importance, s…
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Data & AI Digest for 2018-08-13

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A Deluge of Content Over the last two decades, the accessibility of media has increased dramatically. One of the main reasons for this surge in available content is the evolution of online streaming platforms. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others enable access for millions of consumers to a seemingly countless number of movies […]
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Principal component analysis (PCA) is a dimensionality reduction technique which might come handy when building a predictive model or in the exploratory phase of your data analysis. It is often the case that when it is most handy you might have forgot it exists but let’s neglect this aspect for now 😉

I decided to write this post mainly for two reasons:

I had to make order in my mind about the terminology used and complain about a few things.
I wanted to try to use PCA in a meaningful example.

What does it do?
There are a lot of ways to try to explain what PCA does and there are a lot of good explanations online. I highly suggest you to google around a bit on the topic.
PCA looks for a new the reference system to describe your data. This new reference system is designed in such a way to maximize the variance of the data across the new axis. The first principal component accounts for as much variance as possible, as does the second and so on. PCA transforms a set of (tipically) correlated variables into a set of uncorrelated variables called principal components. By design, each principal component will account for as much variance as possible. The hope is that a fewer number of PCs can be used to summarise the whole dataset. Note that PCs are a linear combination of the original data.
The procedure simply boils down to the following steps

Scale (normalize) the data (not necessary but suggested especially when variables are not homogeneous).
Calculate the covariance matrix of the data.
Calculate eigenvectors (also, perhaps confusingly, called “loadings”) and eigenvalues of the covariance matrix.
Choose only the first N biggest eigenvalues according to one of the many criteria available in the literature.
Project your data in the new frame of reference by multipliying your data matrix by a matrix whose columns are the N eigenvectors associated with the N biggest eigenvalues.
Use the projected data (very confusingly called “scores”) as your new variables for further analysis.

Everything clear? No? Ok don’t worry, it takes a bit of time to sink in. Check the practical example below.
Use case: why should you use it?
The best use cases I can find at the top of my mind are the following:

Redundant data: you have gathered a lot of data on a system and you suspect that most of that data is not necessary to describe it. Example: a point moving on a straight line with some noise, say X axis, but you somehow have collected data also on Y and Z axis. Note that PCA doesn’t get rid of the redundant data, it simply costructs new variables that summarise the original data.

Noise in your data: the data you have collected is noisy and there are some correlations that might annoy you later
The data is heavily redundant and correlated. You think out of the 300 variables you have, 3 might be enough to describe your system.

In all these 3 cases PCA might help you getting closer to your goal of improving the results of your analysis.
Use case: when should you use it?
PCA is a technique used in the exploratory phase of data analysis. Personally, I would use it only in one of the 3 circumstances above, at the beginning of my analisis, after having confirmed through the basic descriptive statistics tools and some field knowledge, that I am indeed in one of the use cases mentioned. I would also probably use it when trying to improve a model that relies on independence of the variables.
Not use case: when should you not use it?
PCA is useless when your data is mostly indipendent or even when you have very few variables I would argue. Personally, I would not use it when a clean and direct interpretation of the model is required either. PCA is not a black box but its output is difficult to a) explain to non technical people and, in general, b) not easy to interpret.
Example of application: the Olivetti faces dataset
The Olivetti faces dataset is a collection of 64×64 greyscale pixel images of 40 faces, there are 10 images for each face. It is available in Scikit-learn and it is a good example dataset for showing what PCA can do. I think it is a better cheap example than the iris dataset since it can show you why you would use PCA.
First, we need to download the data using Python and Scikit-Learn.
Then, we need to shape the data in a way that is acceptable for our analysis, that is, features (also known as variables) should be columns, and samples (also known as observations) should be the rows. In our case the data matrix should have size 399×4096. Row 1 would represent image 1, row 2 image 2, and so on… To achieve this, I used this simple R script with a for loop
The images in the dataset are all head shots with mostly no angle. This is an example of the first face (label 0)

A very simple thing to do would be to look what the average face looks like. We can do this by using dplyr, grouping by label and then taking the average of each pixel. Below you can see the average face for labels 0, 1 and 2

Then it is time to actually applying PCA on the dataset
Since the covariance matrix has dimensions 4096×4096 and it is real and symmetric, we get 4096 eigenvalues and 4096 corresponding eigenvectors. I decided (after a few trials) to keep only the first 20 which account roughly for 76.5 % of the total variance in the dataset. As you can see from the plot below, the magnitude of the eigenvalues goes down pretty quickly.

A few notes:

The eigenvalues of the covariance matrix represent the variance of the principal components.
Total variance is preserved after a rotation (i.e. what PCA is at its core).
The variable D_new contains the new variables in the reduced feature space. Note that by using only 20 variables (the 20 principal components) we can capture 76.5 % of the total variance in the dataset. This is quite remarkable since we can probably avoid using all the 4096 pixels for every image. This is good news and it means that PCA application in this case might be useful! If I had to use 4000 principal components to capture a decent amount of variance, that would have been a hint that PCA wasn’t probably the right tool for the job. This point is perhaps trivial, but particularly important. One must not forget what each tool is designed to accomplish.
There are several methods for choosing how many principal components should be kept.  I simply chose 20 since it seems to work out fine. In a real application you might want to research a more scientific criterion or make a few trials.

The eigenfaces
What is an eigenface? The eigenvectors of the covariance matrix are the eigenfaces of our dataset. These face images form a set of basis features that can be linearly combined to reconstruct images in the dataset. They are the basic characteristic of a face (a face contained in this dataset of course) and every face in this dataset can be considered to be a combination of these standard faces. Of course this concept can be applied also to images other than faces. Have a look at the first 4 (and the 20th) eigenfaces. Note that the 20th eigenface is a bit less detailed than the first 4. If you were to look at the 4000 eigenface, you would find that it is almost white noise.

Then we can project the average face onto the eigenvector space. We can do this also for a new image and use this new data, for instance, to do a classification task.
This is the plot we obtain

As you can see, the 3 average faces rank quite differently in the eigenvectors’ space. We could use the projections of a new image to perform a classification task on an algorithm trained on a database of images transformed according to PCA. By using only a few principal components we could save computational time and speed up our face recognition (or other) algorithm.
Using R built-in prcomp function
For the first few times, I would highly suggest you to do PCA manually, as I did above, in order to get a firm grasp at what you are actually doing with your data. Then, once you are familiar with the procedure, you can simply use R built-in prcomp function (or any other that you like) which, however,  has the downside of calculating all the eigenvalues and eigenvectors and therefore can be a bit slow on a large dataset. Below you can find how it can be done.

I hope this post was useful.
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IRA Tweet Data You may have heard that two researchers at Clemson University analyzed almost 3 millions tweets from the Internet Research Agency (IRA) – a “Russian troll factory”. In partnership with FiveThirtyEight, they made all of their data available on GitHub. So of course, I had to read the files into R, which I was able to do with this code:

files %arrange(desc(tf_idf))tweet_tfidf %__%mutate(word = factor(word, levels = rev(unique(word)))) %__%group_by(account_category) %__%top_n(15) %__%ungroup() %__%ggplot(aes(word, tf_idf, fill = account_category)) +geom_col(show.legend = FALSE) +labs(x = NULL, y = “tf-idf”) +facet_wrap(~account_category, ncol = 2, scales = “free”) +coord_flip()
## Selecting by tf_idf

But another method of examining terms and topics in a set of documents is Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), which can be conducted using the R package, topicmodels. The only issue is that LDA requires a document term matrix. But we can easily convert our wordcounts dataset into a DTM with the cast_dtm function from tidytext. Then we run our LDA with topicmodels. Note that LDA is a random technique, so we set a random number seed, and we specify how many topics we want the LDA to extract (k). Since there are 6 account types (plus 1 unknown), I’m going to try having it extract 6 topics. We can see how well they line up with the account types.tweets_dtm %cast_dtm(account_category, word, n)library(topicmodels)tweets_lda %ungroup() %__%arrange(topic, -beta)top_terms %__%mutate(term = reorder(term, beta)) %__%ggplot(aes(term, beta, fill = factor(topic))) +geom_col(show.legend = FALSE) +facet_wrap(~topic, scales = “free”) +coord_flip()

Based on these plots, I’d say the topics line up very well with the account categories, showing, in order: news feed, left troll, fear monger, right troll, hash gamer, and commercial. One interesting observation, though, is that Trump is a top term in 5 of the 6 topics.
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In this post, I discuss the development of the Enterprise AI business case through a framework of four quadrants.  According to Gartner: “The mindset shift required for AI can lead to “cultural anxiety” because it calls for a deep change in behaviors and ways of thinking”. Deployment of AI in an Enterprise is complex and multi-disciplinary. Hence, this framework is evolutionary.  The vendors and initiatives listed are included to…
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Data & AI Digest for 2018-05-02

I’ve been in the process of transferring my blog (along with creating a personal website) to blogdown, which is hosted on Github Pages. The new blog, or rather, the continuation of this blog, will be at, and it went live today. I’ll be cross-posting here for a while, at least until Tal gets my […]
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Hi there! I was training some ways to simulate animal (or other organisms) movements having into account habitat suitability. To do this, I used my previous eWalk model as the underlying process to simulate random or directional walks. This model is based on Brownian / Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process. You can find more about eWalk model here! Today, I will add one more element to this movement simulations. In this case, we will have into account the habitat or environmental preferences of the simulated species, to perform a simulation like this: First, we will create a raster layer as a random environmental variable, for example tree cover. library (raster) library (dismo) tc
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Summary: Our starting assumption that sequence problems (language, speech, and others) are the natural domain of RNNs is being challenged.  Temporal Convolutional Nets (TCNs) which are our workhorse CNNs with a few new features are outperforming RNNs on major applications today.  Looks like RNNs may well be history.

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Data & AI Digest for 2018-04-27

Today, we are excited to announce the availability of the OS Disk Swap capability for VMs using Managed Disks. Until now, this capability was only available for Unmanaged Disks. With this capability, it becomes very easy to restore a previous backup of the OS Disk or swap out the OS Disk for VM troubleshooting without having to delete the VM.
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Today we’re sharing the public preview of per disk metrics for all Managed & Unmanaged Disks. This enables you to closely monitor and make the right disk selection to suit your application usage…
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We illustrate pattern recognition techniques applied to an interesting mathematical problem: The representation of a number in non-conventional systems, generalizing the familiar base-2 or base-10 systems. The emphasis is on data science rather than mathematical theory, and the style is that of a tutorial, requiring minimum knowledge in mathematics or statistics. However, some off-the-beaten-path, state-of-the-art number theory research is discussed here, in a way that is accessible to…
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