# AI News, Creating an Artificial Neural Network from Scratch in R

- On Thursday, October 4, 2018
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## Creating an Artificial Neural Network from Scratch in R

Leon Eyrich Jessen Let's start with looking at a multi layer perceptron with one input layer with neurons, one hidden layer with neurons.

Let's create it: Now we have that in place, let's turn to the information flow from the hidden to the output layer Nextly, here's an illustration on how the information in the hidden layer flows to the output neuron :

Analogue to the information flow from input to hidden layer, the input to is the product of the first hidden neuron and it's associated weight, plus the product of the second hidden neuron and it's associated weight, etc.

the values for the input layer are calculated as the a series of dot products between the input layer and each of the corresponding weight vectors in the matrix - This is also known as matrix multiplication.

So, it looks like we also need a function for doing matrix multiplication: To test it, let's say we have 10 input neurons (features) and 3 hidden neurons: To better understand what happened, we can look at these 3 dot products: So, each of the values we got, was the dot product of the input (row) vector and the corresponding column vector in the weight matrix.

Let's test the function, we'll initialise the weights with random numbers and likewise with the input features: That's it - That's all we need to run predictions through an artificial neural network...

- On Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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## Forwardpropagation¶

Here is our new feed forward code which accepts matrices instead of scalar inputs.

Using dot product, we multiply the input matrix by the weights connecting them to the neurons in the next layer.

The result is a new matrix, Zh which has a column for every neuron in the hidden layer and a row for every observation in our dataset.

In the hidden layer activation step, we apply the ReLU activation function np.maximum(0,Z) to every cell in the new matrix.

- On Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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In the section on linear classification we computed scores for different visual categories given the image using the formula \( s = W x \), where \(W\) was a matrix and \(x\) was an input column vector containing all pixel data of the image.

In the case of CIFAR-10, \(x\) is a [3072x1] column vector, and \(W\) is a [10x3072] matrix, so that the output scores is a vector of 10 class scores.

There are several choices we could make for the non-linearity (which we’ll study below), but this one is a common choice and simply thresholds all activations that are below zero to zero.

Notice that the non-linearity is critical computationally - if we left it out, the two matrices could be collapsed to a single matrix, and therefore the predicted class scores would again be a linear function of the input.

three-layer neural network could analogously look like \( s = W_3 \max(0, W_2 \max(0, W_1 x)) \), where all of \(W_3, W_2, W_1\) are parameters to be learned.

The area of Neural Networks has originally been primarily inspired by the goal of modeling biological neural systems, but has since diverged and become a matter of engineering and achieving good results in Machine Learning tasks.

Approximately 86 billion neurons can be found in the human nervous system and they are connected with approximately 10^14 - 10^15 synapses.

The idea is that the synaptic strengths (the weights \(w\)) are learnable and control the strength of influence (and its direction: excitory (positive weight) or inhibitory (negative weight)) of one neuron on another.

Based on this rate code interpretation, we model the firing rate of the neuron with an activation function \(f\), which represents the frequency of the spikes along the axon.

Historically, a common choice of activation function is the sigmoid function \(\sigma\), since it takes a real-valued input (the signal strength after the sum) and squashes it to range between 0 and 1.

An example code for forward-propagating a single neuron might look as follows: In other words, each neuron performs a dot product with the input and its weights, adds the bias and applies the non-linearity (or activation function), in this case the sigmoid \(\sigma(x) = 1/(1+e^{-x})\).

As we saw with linear classifiers, a neuron has the capacity to “like” (activation near one) or “dislike” (activation near zero) certain linear regions of its input space.

With this interpretation, we can formulate the cross-entropy loss as we have seen in the Linear Classification section, and optimizing it would lead to a binary Softmax classifier (also known as logistic regression).

The regularization loss in both SVM/Softmax cases could in this biological view be interpreted as gradual forgetting, since it would have the effect of driving all synaptic weights \(w\) towards zero after every parameter update.

The sigmoid non-linearity has the mathematical form \(\sigma(x) = 1 / (1 + e^{-x})\) and is shown in the image above on the left.

The sigmoid function has seen frequent use historically since it has a nice interpretation as the firing rate of a neuron: from not firing at all (0) to fully-saturated firing at an assumed maximum frequency (1).

Also note that the tanh neuron is simply a scaled sigmoid neuron, in particular the following holds: \( \tanh(x) = 2 \sigma(2x) -1 \).

Other types of units have been proposed that do not have the functional form \(f(w^Tx + b)\) where a non-linearity is applied on the dot product between the weights and the data.

TLDR: “What neuron type should I use?” Use the ReLU non-linearity, be careful with your learning rates and possibly monitor the fraction of “dead” units in a network.

For regular neural networks, the most common layer type is the fully-connected layer in which neurons between two adjacent layers are fully pairwise connected, but neurons within a single layer share no connections.

Working with the two example networks in the above picture: To give you some context, modern Convolutional Networks contain on orders of 100 million parameters and are usually made up of approximately 10-20 layers (hence deep learning).

The full forward pass of this 3-layer neural network is then simply three matrix multiplications, interwoven with the application of the activation function: In the above code, W1,W2,W3,b1,b2,b3 are the learnable parameters of the network.

Notice also that instead of having a single input column vector, the variable x could hold an entire batch of training data (where each input example would be a column of x) and then all examples would be efficiently evaluated in parallel.

Neural Networks work well in practice because they compactly express nice, smooth functions that fit well with the statistical properties of data we encounter in practice, and are also easy to learn using our optimization algorithms (e.g.

Similarly, the fact that deeper networks (with multiple hidden layers) can work better than a single-hidden-layer networks is an empirical observation, despite the fact that their representational power is equal.

As an aside, in practice it is often the case that 3-layer neural networks will outperform 2-layer nets, but going even deeper (4,5,6-layer) rarely helps much more.

We could train three separate neural networks, each with one hidden layer of some size and obtain the following classifiers: In the diagram above, we can see that Neural Networks with more neurons can express more complicated functions.

For example, the model with 20 hidden neurons fits all the training data but at the cost of segmenting the space into many disjoint red and green decision regions.

The subtle reason behind this is that smaller networks are harder to train with local methods such as Gradient Descent: It’s clear that their loss functions have relatively few local minima, but it turns out that many of these minima are easier to converge to, and that they are bad (i.e.

Conversely, bigger neural networks contain significantly more local minima, but these minima turn out to be much better in terms of their actual loss.

In practice, what you find is that if you train a small network the final loss can display a good amount of variance - in some cases you get lucky and converge to a good place but in some cases you get trapped in one of the bad minima.

- On Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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## Multi-Layer Neural Networks with Sigmoid Function— Deep Learning for Rookies (2)

Welcome back to my second post of the series Deep Learning for Rookies (DLFR), by yours truly, a rookie ;) Feel free to refer back to my first post here or my blog if you find it hard to follow.

You’ll be able to brag about your understanding soon ;) Last time, we introduced the field of Deep Learning and examined a simple a neural network — perceptron……or a dinosaur……ok, seriously, a single-layer perceptron.

After all, most problems in the real world are non-linear, and as individual humans, you and I are pretty darn good at the decision-making of linear or binary problems like should I study Deep Learning or not without needing a perceptron.

Fast forward almost two decades to 1986, Geoffrey Hinton, David Rumelhart, and Ronald Williams published a paper “Learning representations by back-propagating errors”, which introduced: If you are completely new to DL, you should remember Geoffrey Hinton, who plays a pivotal role in the progress of DL.

Remember that we iterated the importance of designing a neural network so that the network can learn from the difference between the desired output (what the fact is) and actual output (what the network returns) and then send a signal back to the weights and ask the weights to adjust themselves?

Secondly, when we multiply each of the m features with a weight (w1, w2, …, wm) and sum them all together, this is a dot product: So here are the takeaways for now: The procedure of how input values are forward propagated into the hidden layer, and then from hidden layer to the output is the same as in Graph 1.

One thing to remember is: If the activation function is linear, then you can stack as many hidden layers in the neural network as you wish, and the final output is still a linear combination of the original input data.

So basically, a small change in any weight in the input layer of our perceptron network could possibly lead to one neuron to suddenly flip from 0 to 1, which could again affect the hidden layer’s behavior, and then affect the final outcome.

Non-linear just means that the output we get from the neuron, which is the dot product of some inputs x (x1, x2, …, xm) and weights w (w1, w2, …,wm) plus bias and then put into a sigmoid function, cannot be represented by a linear combination of the input x (x1, x2, …,xm).

This non-linear activation function, when used by each neuron in a multi-layer neural network, produces a new “representation” of the original data, and ultimately allows for non-linear decision boundary, such as XOR.

if our output value is on the lower flat area on the two corners, then it’s false or 0 since it’s not right to say the weather is both hot and cold or neither hot or cold (ok, I guess the weather could be neither hot or cold…you get what I mean though…right?).

You can memorize these takeaways since they’re facts, but I encourage you to google a bit on the internet and see if you can understand the concept better (it is natural that we take some time to understand these concepts).

From the XOR example above, you’ve seen that adding two hidden neurons in 1 hidden layer could reshape our problem into a different space, which magically created a way for us to classify XOR with a ridge.

Now, the computer can’t really “see” a digit like we humans do, but if we dissect the image into an array of 784 numbers like [0, 0, 180, 16, 230, …, 4, 77, 0, 0, 0], then we can feed this array into our neural network.

So if the neural network thinks the handwritten digit is a zero, then we should get an output array of [1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0], the first output in this array that senses the digit to be a zero is “fired” to be 1 by our neural network, and the rest are 0.

If the neural network thinks the handwritten digit is a 5, then we should get [0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0].

Remember we mentioned that neural networks become better by repetitively training themselves on data so that they can adjust the weights in each layer of the network to get the final results/actual output closer to the desired output?

For the sake of argument, let’s imagine the following case in Graph 14, which I borrow from Michael Nielsen’s online book: After training the neural network with rounds and rounds of labeled data in supervised learning, assume the first 4 hidden neurons learned to recognize the patterns above in the left side of Graph 14.

Then, if we feed the neural network an array of a handwritten digit zero, the network should correctly trigger the top 4 hidden neurons in the hidden layer while the other hidden neurons are silent, and then again trigger the first output neuron while the rest are silent.

If you train the neural network with a new set of randomized weights, it might produce the following network instead (compare Graph 15 with Graph 14), since the weights are randomized and we never know which one will learn which or what pattern.

- On Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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Each hidden layer is made up of a set of neurons, where each neuron is fully connected to all neurons in the previous layer, and where neurons in a single layer function completely independently and do not share any connections.

In CIFAR-10, images are only of size 32x32x3 (32 wide, 32 high, 3 color channels), so a single fully-connected neuron in a first hidden layer of a regular Neural Network would have 32*32*3 = 3072 weights.

(Note that the word depth here refers to the third dimension of an activation volume, not to the depth of a full Neural Network, which can refer to the total number of layers in a network.) For example, the input images in CIFAR-10 are an input volume of activations, and the volume has dimensions 32x32x3 (width, height, depth respectively).

Moreover, the final output layer would for CIFAR-10 have dimensions 1x1x10, because by the end of the ConvNet architecture we will reduce the full image into a single vector of class scores, arranged along the depth dimension.

During the forward pass, we slide (more precisely, convolve) each filter across the width and height of the input volume and compute dot products between the entries of the filter and the input at any position.

Intuitively, the network will learn filters that activate when they see some type of visual feature such as an edge of some orientation or a blotch of some color on the first layer, or eventually entire honeycomb or wheel-like patterns on higher layers of the network.

If you’re a fan of the brain/neuron analogies, every entry in the 3D output volume can also be interpreted as an output of a neuron that looks at only a small region in the input and shares parameters with all neurons to the left and right spatially (since these numbers all result from applying the same filter).

It is important to emphasize again this asymmetry in how we treat the spatial dimensions (width and height) and the depth dimension: The connections are local in space (along width and height), but always full along the entire depth of the input volume.

If the receptive field (or the filter size) is 5x5, then each neuron in the Conv Layer will have weights to a [5x5x3] region in the input volume, for a total of 5*5*3 = 75 weights (and +1 bias parameter).

We discuss these next: We can compute the spatial size of the output volume as a function of the input volume size (\(W\)), the receptive field size of the Conv Layer neurons (\(F\)), the stride with which they are applied (\(S\)), and the amount of zero padding used (\(P\)) on the border.

In general, setting zero padding to be \(P = (F - 1)/2\) when the stride is \(S = 1\) ensures that the input volume and output volume will have the same size spatially.

For example, when the input has size \(W = 10\), no zero-padding is used \(P = 0\), and the filter size is \(F = 3\), then it would be impossible to use stride \(S = 2\), since \((W - F + 2P)/S + 1 = (10 - 3 + 0) / 2 + 1 = 4.5\), i.e.

Since (227 - 11)/4 + 1 = 55, and since the Conv layer had a depth of \(K = 96\), the Conv layer output volume had size [55x55x96].

As a fun aside, if you read the actual paper it claims that the input images were 224x224, which is surely incorrect because (224 - 11)/4 + 1 is quite clearly not an integer.

It turns out that we can dramatically reduce the number of parameters by making one reasonable assumption: That if one feature is useful to compute at some spatial position (x,y), then it should also be useful to compute at a different position (x2,y2).

With this parameter sharing scheme, the first Conv Layer in our example would now have only 96 unique set of weights (one for each depth slice), for a total of 96*11*11*3 = 34,848 unique weights, or 34,944 parameters (+96 biases).

In practice during backpropagation, every neuron in the volume will compute the gradient for its weights, but these gradients will be added up across each depth slice and only update a single set of weights per slice.

Notice that if all neurons in a single depth slice are using the same weight vector, then the forward pass of the CONV layer can in each depth slice be computed as a convolution of the neuron’s weights with the input volume (Hence the name: Convolutional Layer).

The activation map in the output volume (call it V), would then look as follows (only some of the elements are computed in this example): Remember that in numpy, the operation * above denotes elementwise multiplication between the arrays.

To construct a second activation map in the output volume, we would have: where we see that we are indexing into the second depth dimension in V (at index 1) because we are computing the second activation map, and that a different set of parameters (W1) is now used.

Since 3D volumes are hard to visualize, all the volumes (the input volume (in blue), the weight volumes (in red), the output volume (in green)) are visualized with each depth slice stacked in rows.

The input volume is of size \(W_1 = 5, H_1 = 5, D_1 = 3\), and the CONV layer parameters are \(K = 2, F = 3, S = 2, P = 1\).

The visualization below iterates over the output activations (green), and shows that each element is computed by elementwise multiplying the highlighted input (blue) with the filter (red), summing it up, and then offsetting the result by the bias.

A common implementation pattern of the CONV layer is to take advantage of this fact and formulate the forward pass of a convolutional layer as one big matrix multiply as follows: This approach has the downside that it can use a lot of memory, since some values in the input volume are replicated multiple times in X_col.

For example, if you stack two 3x3 CONV layers on top of each other then you can convince yourself that the neurons on the 2nd layer are a function of a 5x5 patch of the input (we would say that the effective receptive field of these neurons is 5x5).

The most common form is a pooling layer with filters of size 2x2 applied with a stride of 2 downsamples every depth slice in the input by 2 along both width and height, discarding 75% of the activations.

More generally, the pooling layer: It is worth noting that there are only two commonly seen variations of the max pooling layer found in practice: A pooling layer with \(F = 3, S = 2\) (also called overlapping pooling), and more commonly \(F = 2, S = 2\).

Hence, during the forward pass of a pooling layer it is common to keep track of the index of the max activation (sometimes also called the switches) so that gradient routing is efficient during backpropagation.

Consider a ConvNet architecture that takes a 224x224x3 image, and then uses a series of CONV layers and POOL layers to reduce the image to an activations volume of size 7x7x512 (in an AlexNet architecture that we’ll see later, this is done by use of 5 pooling layers that downsample the input spatially by a factor of two each time, making the final spatial size 224/2/2/2/2/2 = 7).

Note that instead of a single vector of class scores of size [1x1x1000], we’re now getting an entire 6x6 array of class scores across the 384x384 image.

Evaluating the original ConvNet (with FC layers) independently across 224x224 crops of the 384x384 image in strides of 32 pixels gives an identical result to forwarding the converted ConvNet one time.

This trick is often used in practice to get better performance, where for example, it is common to resize an image to make it bigger, use a converted ConvNet to evaluate the class scores at many spatial positions and then average the class scores.

For example, note that if we wanted to use a stride of 16 pixels we could do so by combining the volumes received by forwarding the converted ConvNet twice: First over the original image and second over the image but with the image shifted spatially by 16 pixels along both width and height.

Second, if we suppose that all the volumes have \(C\) channels, then it can be seen that the single 7x7 CONV layer would contain \(C \times (7 \times 7 \times C) = 49 C^2\) parameters, while the three 3x3 CONV layers would only contain \(3 \times (C \times (3 \times 3 \times C)) = 27 C^2\) parameters.

I like to summarize this point as “don’t be a hero”: Instead of rolling your own architecture for a problem, you should look at whatever architecture currently works best on ImageNet, download a pretrained model and finetune it on your data.

3x3 or at most 5x5), using a stride of \(S = 1\), and crucially, padding the input volume with zeros in such way that the conv layer does not alter the spatial dimensions of the input.

In an alternative scheme where we use strides greater than 1 or don’t zero-pad the input in CONV layers, we would have to very carefully keep track of the input volumes throughout the CNN architecture and make sure that all strides and filters “work out”, and that the ConvNet architecture is nicely and symmetrically wired.

If the CONV layers were to not zero-pad the inputs and only perform valid convolutions, then the size of the volumes would reduce by a small amount after each CONV, and the information at the borders would be “washed away” too quickly.

For example, filtering a 224x224x3 image with three 3x3 CONV layers with 64 filters each and padding 1 would create three activation volumes of size [224x224x64].

The whole VGGNet is composed of CONV layers that perform 3x3 convolutions with stride 1 and pad 1, and of POOL layers that perform 2x2 max pooling with stride 2 (and no padding).

We can write out the size of the representation at each step of the processing and keep track of both the representation size and the total number of weights: As is common with Convolutional Networks, notice that most of the memory (and also compute time) is used in the early CONV layers, and that most of the parameters are in the last FC layers.

There are three major sources of memory to keep track of: Once you have a rough estimate of the total number of values (for activations, gradients, and misc), the number should be converted to size in GB.

Take the number of values, multiply by 4 to get the raw number of bytes (since every floating point is 4 bytes, or maybe by 8 for double precision), and then divide by 1024 multiple times to get the amount of memory in KB, MB, and finally GB.

- On Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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## Steven Miller Engineering Manager at Segment Twitter GitHub RSS Follow @stevenmiller888 !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Artificial neural networks are statistical learning models, inspired by biological neural networks (central nervous systems, such as the brain), that are used in machine learning.

Screenshot taken from this great introductory video, which trains a neural network to predict a test score based on hours spent studying and sleeping the night before.

Training a neural network basically means calibrating all of the “weights” by repeating two key steps, forward propagation and back propagation.

Since neural networks are great for regression, the best input data are numbers (as opposed to discrete values, like colors or movie genres, whose data is better for statistical classification models).

Next, we’ll walk through a simple example of training a neural network to function as an “Exclusive or” (“XOR”) operation to illustrate each step in the training process.

The purpose of the activation function is to transform the input signal into an output signal and are necessary for neural networks to model complex non-linear patterns that simpler models might miss.

Then, we sum the product of the hidden layer results with the second set of weights (also determined at random the first time around) to determine the output sum.

Calculating the incremental change to these weights happens in two steps: 1) we find the margin of error of the output result (what we get after applying the activation function) to back out the necessary change in the output sum (we call this delta output sum) and 2) we extract the change in weights by multiplying delta output sum by the hidden layer results.

And doing the math: To calculate the necessary change in the output sum, or delta output sum, we take the derivative of the activation function and apply it to the output sum.

Since the output sum margin of error is the difference in the result, we can simply multiply that with the rate of change to give us the delta output sum:

Now that we have the proposed change in the output layer sum (-0.13), let’s use this in the derivative of the output sum function to determine the new change in weights.

Instead of deriving for output sum, let’s derive for hidden result as a function of output sum to ultimately find out delta hidden sum:

All of the pieces in the above equation can be calculated, so we can determine the delta hidden sum: Once we get the delta hidden sum, we calculate the change in weights between the input and hidden layer by dividing it with the input data, (1, 1).

The input data here is equivalent to the hidden results in the earlier back propagation process to determine the change in the hidden-to-output weights.

Here is the derivation of that relationship, similar to the one before: Let’s do the math: Here are the new weights, right next to the initial random starting weights as comparison: Once we arrive at the adjusted weights, we start again with forward propagation.

Check out this short video for a great explanation of identifying global minima in a cost function as a way to determine necessary weight changes.

- On Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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