Online Resources for Neural Networks with Python

The neural network field enjoys now a resurgence of interest. New training techniques made training deep networks feasible. With deeper networks, more training data and powerful new hardware to make it all work, deep neural networks (or “deep learning” systems) suddenly began making rapid progress in areas such as speech recognition, image classification and language translation. [1]

As result of this there are many posts or websites over the web with the source code and tutorials for neural networks of different types and complexity. Starting from simple feedforward network with just one hidden layer the authors of blog posts or tutorials are helping us to understand how to build neural net (deep or shallow).

To help to find needed python source code for neural network with desired features the website Neural Networks with Python on the Web was created.

Please feel free to add any comments, suggestions or advise the link to neural network web page (python source code) via the comments box on this page.

References
1. Why artificial intelligence is enjoying a renaissance

Thinking Patterns and Computer Programs

This post is a continuation of previous post [1] where we started to look how computer programs can increase effective thinking. In this post we will look at some patterns of human thinking and how these patterns are implemented in the computer programs.

Humans often follow others in their actions. When we think about something we often are interesting how others thinking or doing for the same or similar subject. In computer science we can find different implementations of using this approach. For example recommender systems typically produce a list of recommendations in one of two ways – through collaborative and content-based filtering or the personality-based approach. Collaborative filtering approaches building a model from a user’s past behavior (items previously purchased or selected and/or numerical ratings given to those items) as well as similar decisions made by other users.[2] We can see something like this for example on Amazon website.

Thinking about situation from many different views is another useful technique. For example it could be useful think about not just what happens now but also what will happen next year or later. Or it might be useful to think about different group of users. In computer program we would need to add additional categories(attributes) to accomplish this.

According to Wikipedia there could be two types of thinking:convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking involves aiming for a single, correct solution to a problem, whereas divergent thinking involves creative generation of multiple answers to a set problem. Divergent thinking is sometimes used as a synonym for creativity in psychology literature. Other researchers have occasionally used the terms flexible thinking or fluid intelligence. [3]

As a humans we might use systems thinking that can be viewed as a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation [4],[9],[10] Systems concepts are used widely in computer science – for example when we represent the system as black box, when we use feedback control or finite state machines.

Another technique for thinking is – structured thinking which is a process of putting a framework to an unstructured problem. Having a structure not only helps an analyst understand the problem at a macro level, it also helps by identifying areas which require deeper understanding. Structured Thinking allows us to map our ideas in structured fashion, thereby enabling us to identify which areas need the most attention. Mind mapping tools can help to implement structured thinking[5]. In computer science we can use decision tree to build structure from the data.

Dividing the problem in smaller problems is also useful technique that can be called as divide-and-conquer paradigm. This gives useful framework for thinking about problems. In mathematics or computer science it is used for solving problems recursively. [6]

Comparative-analysis – is the item-by-item comparison of two or more comparable alternatives, processes, products, qualifications, sets of data, systems, or the like. In accounting, for example, changes in a financial statement’s items over several accounting periods may be presented together to detect the emerging trends in the company’s operations and results. [7] In troubleshooting we often compare working device with not working device to identify the difference in the hope that it will help to understand why the device failed.

We also use organizing similar ideas or items into logical groupings. [8] By looking at differences or similarities between groups we can find new knowledge about items or group of items. It helps also to generalize our ideas or knowledge. In computer programming we can use clustering to group different items into groups. If we want to add new item to correct group we can use classification.

Thus we looked at different thinking patterns that are used by humans. Obviously computer programs has some limitations if we want to implement above patterns in our programs. However we saw that some patterns are implemented and are used in wide range of programming applications.

References
1. How Can We Use Computer Programming to Increase Effective Thinking
2. Recommender system
3. Creativity
4. Systems Thinking
5. 12 Free Mind Mapping Tools For a Data Scientist To Enhance Structured Thinking
6. Divide-and-Conquer Algorithms
7. Comparative-analysis
8. Affinity Diagram
9. General Systems Concepts
10. An Introduction to General Systems Thinking

Machine Learning Algorithms Online

Due to the availability of data, and to a lesser extent the availability of compute power machine learning and its applications are experiencing an explosive growth. [1] This growth results in many new or improved algorithms and computer programs available over the web.

To help with getting familiar with machine learning algorithms the website Online Machine Learning Algorithms was created. On this website you can enter the data, choose the algorithm (model) and run it. You can play with different input parameters or different input datasets. Running algorithms will be helpful to understand how machine learning algorithms are working.

Please feel free to add any comments, questions, suggestions or requests for adding new features.

References
1. Quora – Why are we experiencing such an explosive growth of machine learning and its applications today even though the space exists for more than 3-4 decades ?