Getting Started With Azure Cognitive Services

Rolf Tesmer has a demo app showing what Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics can do:

Each execution of the application on any input file will generate 3 text output files with the results of the assessment.  The application runs at a rate of about 1-2 calls per second (the max send rate cannot exceed 100/min as this is the API limit).

  • File 1 [AzureTextAPI_SentimentText_YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.txt] – the sentiment score between 0 and 1 for each individual line in the Source Text File.  The entire line in the file is graded as a single data point.  0 is negative, 1 is positive.

  • File 2 [AzureTextAPI_SentenceText_YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.txt] – if the “Split Document into Sentences” option was selected then this contains each individual sentence in each individual line with the sentiment score of that sentence between 0 and 1.  0 is negative, 1 is positive.  RegEx is used to split the line into sentences.

  • File 3 [AzureTextAPI_KeyPhrasesText_YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.txt] – the key phrases identified within the text on each individual line in the Source Text File.

Rolf has also put his code on GitHub, so read on and check out his repo.

Time Series Aggregation

Steph Locke answers an important question related to time series:

Additive or multiplicative?

It’s important to understand what the difference between a multiplicative time series and an additive one before we go any further.

There are three components to a time series:
trend how things are overall changing
seasonality how things change within a given period e.g. a year, month, week, day
error/residual/irregular activity not explained by the trend or the seasonal value

How these three components interact determines the difference between a multiplicative and an additive time series.

Click through to learn how to spot an additive time series versus a multiplicative.  There is a good bit of very important detail here.

Dplyr Tutorial

Deepanshu Bhalla has a nice dplyr tutorial:

What is dplyr?
dplyr is a powerful R-package to manipulate, clean and summarize unstructured data. In short, it makes data exploration and data manipulation easy and fast in R.
 
What’s special about dplyr?

The package “dplyr” comprises many functions that perform mostly used data manipulation operations such as applying filter, selecting specific columns, sorting data, adding or deleting columns and aggregating data. Another most important advantage of this package is that it’s very easy to learn and use dplyr functions. Also easy to recall these functions. For example, filter() is used to filter rows.

dplyr is a core package when it comes to data cleansing in R, and the more of it you can internalize, the faster you’ll move in that language.

Using Sparklyr To Analyze Flight Data

Aki Ariga uses sparklyr on Apache Spark 2.0 to analyze flight data living in S3:

Using sparklyr enables you to analyze big data on Amazon S3 with R smoothly. You can build a Spark cluster easily with Cloudera Director. sparklyr makes Spark as a backend database of dplyr. You can create tidy data from huge messy data, plot complex maps from this big data the same way as small data, and build a predictive model from big data with MLlib. I believe sparklyr helps all R users perform exploratory data analysis faster and easier on large-scale data. Let’s try!

You can see the Rmarkdown of this analysis on RPubs. With RStudio, you can share Rmarkdown easily on RPubs.

Sparklyr is an exciting technology for distributed data analysis.

Principal Component Analysis Using R

Francisco Lima explains what principal component analysis is and shows how to do it in R:

Three lines of code and we see a clear separation among grape vine cultivars. In addition, the data points are evenly scattered over relatively narrow ranges in both PCs. We could next investigate which parameters contribute the most to this separation and how much variance is explained by each PC, but I will leave it for pcaMethods. We will now repeat the procedure after introducing an outlier in place of the 10th observation.

PCA is extremely useful when you have dozens of contributing factors, as it lets you narrow in on the big contributors quickly.

Support Vector Machines In R

Deepanshu Bhalla explains what support vector machines are:

The main idea of support vector machine is to find the optimal hyperplane (line in 2D, plane in 3D and hyperplane in more than 3 dimensions) which maximizes the margin between two classes. In this case, two classes are red and blue balls. In layman’s term, it is finding the optimal separating boundary to separate two classes (events and non-events).

Deepanshu then goes on to implement this in R.

Data Analysis Basics In R

Sibanjan Das provides some of the basics of data analysis using R:

Let’s start thinking in a logical way the steps that one should perform once we have the data imported into R.

  • The first step would be to discover what’s in the data file that was exported. To do this, we can:
    • Use head function to view few rows from the data set. By default, head shows first 5 rows. Ex: head(mtcars)
    • str to view the structure of the imported data. Ex: str(mtcars)
    • summary to view the data summary. Ex: summary(mtcars) 

There’s a lot to data analysis, but this is a good start.

Thinking About Real-Time Analytics

Martin Willcox offers some advice for people getting into the real-time analytics game:

  1. Clarify who will be making the decision – man, or machine? Humans have powers of discretion that machines sometimes lack, but are much slower than a silicon-based system, and only able to make decisions one-at-a-time, one-after-another.  If we chose to put a human in the loop, we are normally in “please-update-my-dashboard-faster-and-more-often” territory.

  2. It is important to be clear about decision-latency. Think about how soon after a business event you need to take a decision and then implement it. You also need to understand whether decision-latency and data-latency are the same. Sometimes a good decision can be made now on the basis of older data. But sometimes you need the latest, greatest and most up-to-date information to make the right choices.

There are some good insights here.

Understanding Bayesian Priors

Angelika Stefan and Felix Schönbrodt explain the concept of priors:

When reading about Bayesian statistics, you regularly come across terms like “objective priors“, “prior odds”, “prior distribution”, and “normal prior”. However, it may not be intuitively clear that the meaning of “prior” differs in these terms. In fact, there are two meanings of “prior” in the context of Bayesian statistics: (a) prior plausibilities of models, and (b) the quantification of uncertainty about model parameters. As this often leads to confusion for novices in Bayesian statistics, we want to explain these two meanings of priors in the next two blog posts*. The current blog post covers the the first meaning of priors.

Priors are a big differentiator between the Bayesian statistical model and the classical/frequentist statistical model.

CRISP-DM

Steph Locke explains the CRISP-DM model for data mining projects and applies it to data science projects:

Within a given project, we know that at the beginning of our first ever project we may not have a lot of domain knowledge, or there might be problems with the data or the model might not be valuable enough to put into production. These things happen, and the really nice thing about the CRISP-DM model is it allows for us to do that. It’s not a single linear path from project kick-off to deployment. It helps you remember not to beat yourself up over having to go back a step. It also equips you with something upfront to explain to managers that sometimes you will need to bounce between some phases, and that’s ok.

This is another place in which “iterate, iterate, iterate” ends up being the best answer available.

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