Visual Neural Network Designer in ANNdotNET


Brief Introduction to ANNdotNET

ANNdotNET – is an open source project for deep learning on .NET platform (.NET Framework and .NET Core). The project is hosted at http://github.com/bhrnjica/anndotnet with more information at the https://bhrnjica.net/anndotnet.

The project comes in two versions: GUI and CMD tool. The main purpose of the project is focus on building deep learning models without to be distracted with debugging the source code and installing/updating missing packages and environments. The user should no worry which version of ML Engine the application is using. In other words, the ANNdotNET is ideal in several scenarios:

  1. more focus on network development and training process using classic desktop approach, instead of focusing on coding,
  2. less time spending on debugging source code, more focusing on different configuration and parameter variants,
  3. ideal for engineers/users who are not familiar with supported programming languages,
  4. in case the problem requires coding more advanced custom models, or training process, ANNdotNET CMD provides high level of API for such implementation,
  5. all ml configurations files generated with GUI tool, can be handled with CMD tool and vice versa.

With ANNdotNET GUI Tool the user can prepare data for training, by performing several actions: data cleaning, feature selection, category encoding, missing values handling, and create training and validation dataset prior to start building deep neural network. Once the data is prepared, the user can create Machine Learning Configuration (mlconfig) file in order to start building and training deep neural network. All previous actions user can handle using GUI tool implemented in the application.

For persisting information about data preparation and transformation actions, the application uses annproject file type which consists information about raw dataset, metadata information and information about mlconfig files.

The machine learning configurations are stored in separated files with mlconfig file extension. For more information about files in ANNdotNET the reader may open this link. The following image shows how ANNdotNET handles annproject and corresponded machine learning configurations within the annproject:

As can be seen the annproject can be consisted of arbitrary number of mlconfigs, which is typical scenario when working on ML Project. User can switch between mlconfigs any time except when the application is in training or evaluation mode.

ANNdotNET ML Engine

ANNdotNET introduces the ANNdotNET Machine Learning Engine (MLEngine) which is responsible for training and evaluation models defined in the mlconfig files.The ML Engine relies on Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, CNTK open source library which is proved to be one of the best open source library for deep learning. Through all application ML Engine exposed all great features of the CNTK e.g. GPU support for training and evaluation, different kind of learners, but also extends CNTK features with more Evaluation functions (RMSE, MSE, Classification Accuracy, Coefficient of Determination, etc.), Extended Mini-batch Sources, Trainer and Evaluaton models.

ML Engine also contains the implementation of neural network layers which supposed to be high level CNTK API very similar as layer implementation in Keras and other python based deep learning APIs. With this implementation the ANNdotNET implements the Visual Neural Network Designer called ANNdotNET NNDesigner which allows the user to design neural network configuration of any size with any type of the layers. In the first release the following layers are implemented:

  • Normalization Layer – takes the numerical features and normalizes its values before getting to the network. More information can be found here.
  • Dense – classic neural network layer with activation function
  • LSTM – LSTM layer with option for peephole and self-stabilization.
  • Embedding – Embedding layer,
  • Drop – drop layer.

More layer types will be added in the future release.

Designing the neural network can be simplify by using pre-defined layer. So on this way we can implement almost any network we usually implement through the source code.

How to use ANNdotNET NNDesigner

Once the MLConfig is created user can open it and start building neural network. NNDesigner is placed in the Network Setting tab page. The following image shows the Network Setting tab page.

NNetwork Designer contains combo box with supported NN layers, and two action buttons for adding and removing layers in/from the network. Adding and removing layers is simple as adding and removing items in/from the list box. In order to add a layer, select the item from the combo box, and press Add button. In order to remove the layer form the network, click the layer in the listbox and press Remove button, then confirm deletion. In order to successfully create the network, the last layer in the list must be created with the same output dimension as the Output layer shown on the left side of the window, otherwise the warning messages will appear about this information once the training is stared.

Once the layer is added to the list it must be configured. The layer configuration depends of its type . The main parameter for each layer is output dimension and activation function, except the drop and normalization layer. The following text explains parameters for all supported layers:

Normalization layer – does not require any parameter. The following image shows the normalization item in the NNDesigner. You can insert only one normalization layer, and it is positioned at the first place.

Drop layer – requires percentage drop value which is integer value. The following image shows how drop layer looks in the NNDesigner. There is no any constrains for this layer.

Embedding layer – requires only output dimension to be configured. There is no any constrains for the layer. The following image shows how it looks in the NNDesigner:

Dense layer – requires output dimension and activation function to be configured. There is no any constrains for the layer.

LSTM layer – requires: output and cell dimension, activation function, and two Boolean parameters to enable peephole and self-stabilization variant in the layer. The following image shows how LSTM item looks in the NNDesigner.

The LSTM layer has some constrains which is already implemented in the code. In case two LSTM layers are added in the network, the network becomes the Stacked LSTM which should be treated differently. Also all LSTM layers are inserted as stack, and they cannot be inserted on different places in the list. The implementation of the Stacked LSTM layer will be shown later.

Different network configurations

In this section, various network configuration will be listed, in order to show how easy is to use NNDesigner to create very complex neural network configurations. Network examples are implemented in pre-calculated examples which come with default ANNdotNET installation package.

Feed Forward network

This example shows how to implement Feed Forward network, with one hidden and one output layer which is the last layer in the NNDesinger. The example is part of the ANNdotNET installation package.

Feed Forward with Normalization layer

This example shows feed forward network with normalization layer as the first layer. The example of this configuration can be found in the installation package of the ANNdotNET.

Feed Forward Network with Embedding layers

In this example embedding layers are used in order to reduce the dimensions of the input layer. Network is configured with 3 embedding layers, one hidden and output layer. The example is part of the ANNdotNET installation package.

Deep Neural Network

This example shows deep neural network with three kind of layers: Embedding, Drop and Dense layers. The project is part of the ANNdotNET installation package.

LSTM Deep Neural Network

This example shows how to configure LSTM based network. The network consist of normalization, embedding, drop, dense and LSTM layers. The project is part of the ANNdotNET installation package.

Stacked LSTM Neural Network

This is example of Stacked LSTM network, consist of multiple LSTM layers connected into stack. The example is part of the installation package.

The complete list of examples can be seen at the ANNdotNET Start Page. In order to open the example, the user just need to click the link. Hope this project will be useful for many ml scenarios.

Advertisements

Linear Regression with CNTK and C#


CNTK is Microsoft’s deep learning tool for training very large and complex neural network models. However, you can use CNTK for various other purposes. In some of the previous posts we have seen how to use CNTK to perform matrix multiplication, in order to calculate descriptive statistics parameters on data set.
In this blog post we are going to implement simple linear regression model, LR. The model contains only one neuron. The model also contains bias parameters, so in total the linear regression has only two parameters: w and b.
The image below shows LR model:

The reason why we use the CNTK to solve such a simple task is very straightforward. Learning on simple models like this one, we can see how the CNTK library works, and see some of not-so-trivial actions in CNTK.
The model shown above can be easily extend to logistic regression model, by adding activation function. Besides the linear regression which represent the neural network configuration without activation function, the Logistic Regression is the simplest neural network configuration which includes activation function.

The following image shows logistic regression model:
In case you want to see more info about how to create Logistic Regression with CNTK, you can see this official demo example.
Now that we made some introduction to the neural network models, we can start by defining the data set. Assume we have simple data set which represent the simple linear function y=2x+1. The generated data set is shown in the following table:

We already know that the linear regression parameters for presented data set are: b_0=1 and b_1=2, so we want to engage the CNTK library in order to get those values, or at least parameter values which are very close to them.

All task about how the develop LR model by using CNTK can be described in several steps:

Step 1: Create C# Console application in Visual Studio, change the current architecture to x64, and add the latest “CNTK.GPU “ NuGet package in the solution. The following image shows those action performed in Visual Studio.

Step 2: Start writing code by adding two variables: X – feature, and label Y. Once the variables are defined, start with defining the training data set by creating batch. The following code snippet shows how to create variables and batch, as well as how to start writing CNTK based C# code.

First we need to add some using statements, and define the device where computation will be happen. Usually, we can defined CPU or GPU in case the machine contains NVIDIA compatible graphics card. So the demo starts with the following cod snippet:

using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using CNTK;
namespace LR_CNTK_Demo
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
             //Step 1: Create some Demo helpers
             Console.Title = "Linear Regression with CNTK!";
             Console.WriteLine("#### Linear Regression with CNTK! ####");
             Console.WriteLine("");
            //define device
            var device = DeviceDescriptor.UseDefaultDevice();

Now define two variables, and data set presented in the previous table:

//Step 2: define values, and variables
Variable x = Variable.InputVariable(new int[] { 1 }, DataType.Float, "input");
Variable y = Variable.InputVariable(new int[] { 1 }, DataType.Float, "output");

//Step 2: define training data set from table above
var xValues = Value.CreateBatch(new NDShape(1, 1), new float[] { 1f, 2f, 3f, 4f, 5f }, device);
var yValues = Value.CreateBatch(new NDShape(1, 1), new float[] { 3f, 5f, 7f, 9f, 11f }, device);

Step 3: Create linear regression network model, by passing input variable and device for computation. As we already discussed, the model consists of one neuron and one bias parameter. The following method implements LR network model:

private static Function createLRModel(Variable x, DeviceDescriptor device)
{
    //initializer for parameters
    var initV = CNTKLib.GlorotUniformInitializer(1.0, 1, 0, 1);

    //bias
    var b = new Parameter(new NDShape(1,1), DataType.Float, initV, device, "b"); ;

    //weights
    var W = new Parameter(new NDShape(2, 1), DataType.Float, initV, device, "w");

    //matrix product
    var Wx = CNTKLib.Times(W, x, "wx");

    //layer
    var l = CNTKLib.Plus(b, Wx, "wx_b");

    return l;
}

First, we create initializer, which will initialize startup values of network parameters. Then we defined bias and weight parameters, and join them in form of linear model “wx+b”, and returned as Function type. The createModel function is called in the main method. Once the model is created, we can exam it, and prove there are only two parameters in the model. The following code create the Linear Regression model, and print model parameters:

//Step 3: create linear regression model
var lr = createLRModel(x, device);
//Network model contains only two parameters b and w, so we query
//the model in order to get parameter values
var paramValues = lr.Inputs.Where(z => z.IsParameter).ToList();
var totalParameters = paramValues.Sum(c => c.Shape.TotalSize);
Console.WriteLine($"LRM has {totalParameters} params, {paramValues[0].Name} and {paramValues[1].Name}.");

In the previous code, we have seen how to extract parameters from the model. Once we have parameters, we can change its values, or just print those values for the further analysis.

Step 4: Create Trainer, which will be used to train network parameters w and b. The following code snippet shows implementation of Trainer method.

public Trainer createTrainer(Function network, Variable target)
{
    //learning rate
    var lrate = 0.082;
    var lr = new TrainingParameterScheduleDouble(lrate);
//network parameters
    var zParams = new ParameterVector(network.Parameters().ToList());

    //create loss and eval
    Function loss = CNTKLib.SquaredError(network, target);
    Function eval = CNTKLib.SquaredError(network, target);

    //learners
    //
    var llr = new List();
    var msgd = Learner.SGDLearner(network.Parameters(), lr);
    llr.Add(msgd);

    //trainer
    var trainer = Trainer.CreateTrainer(network, loss, eval, llr);
    //
    return trainer;
}

First we defined learning rate the main neural network parameter. Then we create Loss and Evaluation functions. With those parameters we can create SGD learner. Once the SGD learner object is instantiated, the trainer is created by calling CreateTrainer static CNTK method, and passed it further as function return. The method createTrainer is called in the main method:

//Step 4: create trainer
var trainer = createTrainer(lr, y);

Step 5: Training process: Once the variables, data set, network model and trainer are defined, the training process can be started.

//Ştep 5: training
for (int i = 1; i <= 200; i++)
{
var d = new Dictionary();
d.Add(x, xValues);
d.Add(y, yValues);
//
trainer.TrainMinibatch(d, true, device);
//
var loss = trainer.PreviousMinibatchLossAverage();
var eval = trainer.PreviousMinibatchEvaluationAverage();
//
if (i % 20 == 0)
    Console.WriteLine($"It={i}, Loss={loss}, Eval={eval}");

if(i==200)
 {
    //print weights
    var b0_name = paramValues[0].Name;
    var b0 = new Value(paramValues[0].GetValue()).GetDenseData(paramValues[0]);
    var b1_name = paramValues[1].Name;
    var b1 = new Value(paramValues[1].GetValue()).GetDenseData(paramValues[1]);
    Console.WriteLine($" ");
    Console.WriteLine($"Training process finished with the following regression parameters:");
    Console.WriteLine($"b={b0[0][0]}, w={b1[0][0]}");
    Console.WriteLine($" ");
 }
}
}

As can be seen, in just 200 iterations, regression parameters got the values we almost expected b_0=0.995, and w=2.005. Since the training process is different than classic regression parameter determination, we cannot get exact values. In order to estimate regression parameters, the neural network uses iteration methods called Stochastic Gradient Decadent, SGD. On the other hand, classic regression uses regression analysis procedures by minimizing the least square error, and solve system equations where unknowns are b and w.
Once we implement all code above, we can start LR demo by pressing F5. Similar output window should be shown:

Hope this blog post can provide enough information to start with CNTK C# and Machine Learning. Source code for this blog post can be downloaded here.

Using CNTK and C# to train Mario to drive Kart


Introduction

In this blog post I am going to explain one of possible way how to implement Deep Learning to play video game. For this purpose I used the following:

  1. N64 Nintendo emulator which can be found here,
  2. Mario Kart 64 ROM, which can be found on internet as well,
  3. CNTK – Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit
  4. .NET Framework and C#

The idea behind this machine learning project is to capture images together with action, while you play Mario Kart game. Then captured images are transformed into features of training data set, and action keys into label hot vectors respectively.  Since we need to capture images, the emulator should be positioned at fixed location and resized to fixed size during playing the game, testing algorithm to play game, and play the game. The flowing image shows N64 emulator graphics configuration settings.

2018-02-15_16-34-03

Also the N64 emulator is positioned to Top-Left corned of screen, so it is easier to capture the images.

Data collection for training data set

During image captures, game is played as you would play normally. Also no special agent, nor platform is required.

In .NET and C#, it is implemented image capture from the specific position of screen, as well as it is recorded which keys are pressed during game play. In order to record keys press, the code found here is modified and used.

The flowing image shows the position of N64 emulator with Mario Kart game (1), the window which shows the captured and transformed images (2), and .NET Console  application with the implementation (3).

2018-02-15_16-31-42

The data is generated on the following way:

  • each image is captured, resized to 100×74 pixels and gray scaled prior to be transformed and persisted to data set training file.
  • before image is persisted the hotkey of action key press is recorded and connected to image.

So the training data is persisted into CNTK format which consist of:

  1. |label – which represent 5 component hot vector, indicate: Forward, Break, Forward-Left, Forward-Right and None (1 0 0 0 0)
  2. |features consist of 100×74 numbers which represent pixels of the images.

The following data sample shows how training data set are persisted in the txt file:

|label 1 0 0 0 0 |features 202 202 202 202 202 202 204 189 234 209 199...
|label 0 1 0 0 0 |features 201 201 201 201 201 201 201 201 203 18...
|label 0 0 1 0 0 |features 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 19...
|label 0 0 0 1 1 |features 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 19...

Since my training data is more than 300 000 MB of size, I provided just few BM sized file, but you can generate file as big as you wish with just playing the game, and running the flowing code from Program.cs file:

await GenerateData.Start();

Model training to play the game

Once we generate the data, we can move to the next step: training RCNN model to play the game. For training model the CNTK is used. Since we play a game which the previous sequence will determined the next sequence in the game, the LSTM RNN is used. More information about CNTK and LSTM can be found in previous posts.

In my case I have collected nearly 15000 images during several round of playing the same level and route. Also for more accurate model much more images should be collected, nearly 100 000. The model is trained in one hour, with 500000 iterations. The source code about whole project can be found on GitHub page. (http://github.com/bhrnjica/LSTMBotGame )

By running the following code, the training process is started with provided training data:

CNTKDeepNN.Train(DeviceDescriptor.UseDefaultDevice());

Playing the game with CNTK model

Once we trained the model, we move to the next step: playing a game.

The emulator should be positioned on the same position and with the same size as we had while generating training data.Once the model is trained and created, the playing game can be achieve by running:

var dev = DeviceDescriptor.UseDefaultDevice();
MarioKartPlay.LoadModel("../../../../training/mario_kart_modelv1", dev);
MarioKartPlay.PlayGame(dev);

How it looks like on my case, you can see on this you tube video:

Using CNTK with Visual Studio 2017 and Python


In the next few steps will show how to install CNTK and python environment in Visual Studio 2017.

  1. First download the latest CNTK version from the official GitHub page, or just click on the following link: https://github.com/Microsoft/CNTK/releases

The release page will show the latest bits. Click on the CPU only package, accept the license and download the zip file.

  1. Once that you have zip file on your PC, create the folder C:/local on disk and unzip the package in to it.
  2. The next step performs the installation of the library as well as installation of the Python related distribution anaconda 4.1.1.
  3. Open C:\local\cntk\Scripts\install\windows path and run install.bat file. You will need administrative rights in order to successfully install all required components.
  4. The following image shows the installation process:

  1. As can be seen first you have to run batch file (step 2), then press 1 and ENTER in order to continue with the installation process and press ‘y‘, to perform downloading required components.
  2. The installation process takes several minutes to complete. The first component to be installed is Anaconda 4.1.1 which is needed in order to setup  CNTK.

  1. Once the anaconda is installed, the process of CNTK installation starts and passes very quickly since we already download all CNTK bits.

  1. Now that we have CNTK installed, the last installation step is installation of the Visual Studio Tool for Python.
  2. Run the Visual Studio 2017 Installer and after the installed is show, just select the python components similar picture shows below:

  1. Once the installation is completed run Visual Studio 2017.
  2. From the Visual Studio 2017 Tool menu select Python and then select Python Environment:

  1. From the Python Environment window select Anaconda 4.1.1 and update symbols DB, by pressing the button pointed on the image below:

  1. Once we have environment updated, Press “Make this the default environment for the new projects” option in order to apply the environment for the future Python CNTK based projects.
  2. Also the path for Python and Python scripts should be registered in Global Environment OS.

  1. Once the previous steps are performed successfully, we can start writing CNTK aware python code in Visual Studio 2017.
  2. OPen VS 2017 and Anaconda 4.1.1 environment and type.

   import cntk

print(“CNTK verion:”, cntk__version__)

  1. Similar output should be appear
  2. print(“CNTK version:”, cntk.__version__)

 

GPdotNET v4.0 has been released


After almost two years of implementation, I am proud to announce the forth version of the Open source project called GPdotNET v4.0. The latest version completely implements Genetic Programming and Artificial Neural Network for supervised learning tasks in three kind of problems: regression, binary and multiclass classification. Beside supervised learning tasks, with GPdotNET you can solve several Linear Programming problems: Traveling Salesman, Assignment and Transportation problems. The source code and binaries can be download from Github page: https://github.com/bhrnjica/gpdotnet/releases/tag/v4.0

Figure 1. Main Window in GPdotNET v4.0

Introduction

In 2006 the GPdotNET started as post-graduate semester project, where I was trying to implement simple C# program based on genetic programming. After successfully implemented console application, started to implement .NET Windows application to be easy to use for anyone who wants to build mathematical model from the data based on genetic programming method. In November 2009 GPdotNET became an open source project, by providing the source code and installer. Since then I have received hundreds of emails, feedbacks, questions and comments. The project was hosted on http://gpdotnet.codeplex.com. In 2016 I decided to move the project to GitHub for better collaboration and compatibility, and can be found at http://github.com/bhrnjica/gpdotnet. However, for backward compatibility, the old hosting site will be live as long as the codeplex.com would be live. Since the beginning of the development, my intention was that the GPdotNET would be cross-OS application which can be run on Windows, Linux and Mac. Since version 2, GPdotNET can be compiled against .NET and Mono, and can be run on any OS which has Mono Framework installed. Beside this fact, vast majority of users are using GPdotNET on Windows OS.

GPdotNET is primarily used on Academia by helping engineers and researchers in modelling and prediction various problems, from the air pollution, water treatment, rainfall prediction, to the various modelling of machining processes, electrical engineering, vibration, automotive industry etc. GPdotNET is used in more than ten doctoral dissertations (known to me) and master thesis, nearly hundreds paper used GPdotNET in some kind of calculation.

Modeling with GPdotNET (New in GPdotNET v4.0)

Working with GPdotNET requires the data. By providing the learning algorithms GPdotNET uses a data of the research or experimental measures to learn about the problem. The results of learning algorithms are analytical models which can describe or predict the state of the problem, or can recognize the pattern. GPdotNET is very easy to use, even if you have no deep knowledge of GA, GP or ANN. Appling those methods in finding solutions can be achieved very quickly. The project can be used in modeling any kind of engineering process, which can be described with discrete data, as well as in education during teaching students about evolutionary methods, mainly GP and GA, as well as Artificial Neural Networks.

Working in GPdotNET follows the same procedures regardless of the problem type. That means you have the same set of steps when modelling with Genetic Programming or Neural Networks. In fact, GPdotNET contains the same set of input dialogs when you try to solve Traveling Salesman Problem with Genetic Algorithm or if you try to solve handwriting recognition by using Backpropagation Neural Networks. All learning algorithms within GPdotNET share the same UI.

The picture below shows the flowchart of the modelling in GPdotNET. The five steps are depicted in the graphical forms surrounded with Start and Stop item.

Figure 2. Modelling layout in GPdotNET 4.0

After GPdotNET is started main window is show, and the modelling process can be started.

Choosing the Solver Type

The first step is choosing the type of the solver. Which solver you will use it depends on your intention what you want to do. Choosing solver type begins when you press “New” button, the “GPdotNET Model creation wizard” appear. Soler types are grouped in two categories. The first group (on the left side) contains models implemented prior to v4.0 version. It contains solvers which apply GP in modelling regression problems, and GP in optimization of the GP models. In addition, you can perform optimization of any analytically defined function by using “Optimization of the Analytic function”. Also, there are three linear programming problems which GPdotNET can solve using GA.

On the right side, there are two kind of solvers: GP or ANN, which are not limited to solve only regression. Both GP or ANN can build model for regression, binary or multi-class problems. Which type of problem GPdotNET will use, depends of the type of the output column data (label column).

Figure 3. Available model types

Loading Experimental Data (new in GPdotNET 4.0)

GPdotNET uses powerful tool for importing your experimental data regardless of the type. You can import numerical, binary or classification data by using Importing Data Wizard. With GPdotNET importing tools you can import any kind of textual data, with any kind of separation character.

Figure 4. Importing dataset dialog

After the data is imported in forms of columns and rows, GPdotNET implemented set of very simple controls which can perform very powerful feature engineering. For each loaded column, you can set several types of metadata: column name, column type (input, output, ignore), normalization type (minmax, gauss), and missing value (min, max, avg). With those options, you can achieve most of the modelling scenarios. Before “Start Modelling” minimum conditions must be achieved.

  • At least one column must be of “input” parameter type.
  • At least one column must be of “output” parameter type.

Which type of problem (regression, binary or multi class) will be used depends of the type of the output column. The following cases are considered:

  1. in case of regression problems ouput column must be of numeric type.
  2. in case of binary classinfication output column must be of binary type.
  3. in case of multi class classinfication output column must be of categorical type.

Figure 5. Defining metadata for training data set

When the column should not be part of the feature list, it can be easily ignored when the Column Type is set to “ignore“, or Param type is set to “string“.

Figure 6. Changing column type to binary

Change value of metadata by double click on the current value, select new values from available popup list. When you done with Feature Engineering press “Start Modelling” button and the process of modelling can be start.

Note: After you press Start Modelling button you can still change values of metadta, but after every change of the metadata values, Start Modelling button must be pressed.

Setting Learning Parameters

Figure 7. Setting parameters Dialog

After data is loaded and prepared successfully, you have to set parameters for the selected method. GPdotNET provides various parameters for each method, so you can set parameters which can provides and generates best output model. Every parameter is self-explanatory.

Searching for the solution

GPdotNET provides visualization of the searching solution so you can visually monitor how GPdotNET finds better solution as the iteration number is increasing. Beside searching simulation, GPdotNET provides instant result representation (only GP models), so any time the user can see what is the best solution, and how currently best solution is good against validate or predicted set of data. (Result and Prediction tabs).

Figure 8. Searching simulation in GPdotNET

Saving and exporting the results:

GPdotNET provides several options you can choose while exporting your solution. You can export your solution in Excel or text file, as well as in Wolfram Mathematica or R programming languages (GP Models only). In case of ANN model the result can se exported only to Excel.


Figure 9. Searching simulation in GPdotNET

Besides parameters specific to learning algorithm, GPdotNET provides set of parameters which control the way of how iteration process should terminates as well as how iteration process should be processed by means of parallelization to use the multicore processors. During the problem searching GPdotNET records the history, so you can see when the best solution is found, how much time pass since the last iteration process start, or how much time is remaining to finish currently running iteration process.

Due to the fact that GP is the method which requires lot of processing time, GPdotNET provides parallelization, which speed up the process of searching. Enabling or disabling the parallelization processing is just a click of the button.

GPdotNET Start Page

In case you have no data or just want to test the application, GPdotNET providers 15 data samples for demo purposes. All samples are grouped in problems specific groups: Approximation and Regressions, Binary Classification, Multi-class classification, Time series modelling and Linear Programming.

Figure 10. Modelling layout in GPdotNET

By click on appropriate link sample can be opened to see current result and parameter values. You can easily change parameter, press Run button and search for another solution. This is very handy to introduce with GPdotNET. In any time, you can stop searching and export current model or save current state of the program.

Final note: The project is licensed under GNU Library General Public License (LGPL). For information about license and other kind of copyright e.g. using the application in commercial purpose please see http://github.com/bhrnjica/gpdotnet/blob/master/license.md.

In case you need to cite it in scientific paper or book please refer to  https://wordpress.com/post/bhrnjica.net/5995

GPdotNET v4.0 Beta 2 released


Download GPdotNET v4 beta2

The last few days I am preparing the new build for publishing of GPdotNET v4.0 which will include lot of new features. In the last post I have announced ANN modul and compleately new modul for preparing tha data for modelling. Here is a quick overview of the new features comming in this build:

  1. Since this build the GP modul is also integrated with the new way of data preparation. Now with the latest version of GPdotNET the user will have the same user  experience in modelling with GP and ANN.
  2. The big news for this build is ability for modelling classification problems (two-class as well ) with Genetic programming. Multy -classs GP solver will be released soon.
  3. Separation of the previous and new version. Both are included in the latest build.
  4. Disable protected operations.

 

As picture shows below you can choose models from prevous version on the left side. On the right side of the new model dialog, you can select modeling and prediction with ANN or GP.

GPdotNET v4.0 Beta 2

After you select the solver GPdotNET is ready to accept the data.

GPdotNET v4.0 Beta 2 02

From the previous blog post you can see more info about loading and handling data.  The same user experimence you can see regadles of the solver type (ANN or GP).

Beside this GP integration there are several bug fix which were reported from the users.

In GP solver the new feature has been added: Ability to disable protected operations. In the previuous version of GPdotNET protected operations (eg. /, log, ln, etc) are enabled in the model. Whenever operation was undefined for the current value. GPdotNET returned default value (0 or 1). So with protected operation the model is always defined. With protected operations we collect much good genetic material dufirng evolution. In case the option is disable any upprotected operation can discar the model. This option is available in new and previous GP solver.

GPdotNET v4.0 Beta 2 03

Features not implemented in this beta

1. Exporting GP/ANN model

2. Open/Save gpa file for new Solvers.

GPdotNET v4.0- Introduction


This is the first post in series of posts that describe upcomming version of GPdotNET v4.0. Besides lot of improvements of the current version, the main part isimplementation of neural networks and set of other optimization methods of machine learning.

1. Modelling with GPdotNET v4.0

GPdotNET Logo

GPdotNET Logo

GPdotNET is C#, open source artificial intelligence tool for applying Genetic Algorithm and Artificial Neural Networks in modeling, prediction, optimization and pattern recognitions. With GPdotNET you can solve various engineering problems from classic regression and approximation to linear programming transportation and location problems and other machine learning based problems. By providing the learning algorithms GPdotNET uses a data of the research or experimental measures to learn about the problem. The results of learning algorithms are analytical models which can describe or predict the state of the problem, or can recognize the pattern. GPdotNET is very easy to use, even if you have no deep knowledge of GA, GP or ANN, you can apply those methods in finding solutions. The project can be used in modeling any kind of engineering process, which can be described with discrete data, as well as in education during teaching students about evolutionary methods, mainly GP and GA, as well as machine learning mainly Artificial Neural Networks.
The typical process of modelling with GPdotNET can be described in 5 steps.

  1. Choosing the type of the Solver: The first step is choosing the type of the solver. Which solver you will use depends on your intention what you want to do. For example if you want to make model for your experimental measurement you have several options which depend of your experimental data and the method you want to use. In GPdotNET you can use Genetic Programming or Neural Nets for modelling and prediction experimental data. But this is not strictly separate as may look on the flowchart below. That means that you can user Neural Networks for prediction, but training algorithm can be based on  Genetic Algorithm or Particle Swarm Optimization or Back Propagation algorithm.
  2. Loading your experimental data: GPdotNET uses powerful tool for importing your experimental data regardless of the type of data. You can import your numerical, binary or classification data. GPdotNET can automatically define classes, or format numerical data with floating or comma separated decimal values. More info can be find in Section 2.
  3. Setting Learning Parameters. After data is loaded and prepared successfully, you have to set parameters for the selected method. GPdotNET providers various parameters for each method, so you can set parameters which can provides and generates best output model.
  4. Searching for the solution: GPdotNET provides visualization of the searching solution so you can visually monitor how GPdotNET finds better solution as increasing the iteration number. If you provide data for testing calculated model, you can also see simulation of prediction.
  5. Saving and exporting the results: GPdotNET provides several options you can choose while exporting your solution. You can export your solution in Excel or text file, as well as in Wolfram Mathematica or R programming languages.

As would be seen, working in GPdotNET follows the same procedures regardless of the problem type. That means you have the same set of steps when modelling with Genetic Programming or Neural Networks. In fact GPdotNET contains the same set of input dialogs when you try to solve Traveling Salesman Problem with Genetic Algorithm or if you try to solve handwriting recognition by using Backpropagation Neural Networks. All learning algorithms within GPdotNET share the same UI.

The picture below shows the flowchart of the modelling in GPdotNET. The five steps described previously are depicted in the graphical forms surrounded with Start and Stop elements.

Modeling in GPdotNET v4.0

Modeling in GPdotNET v4.0

Besides parameters specific to learning algorithm, GPdotNET provides set of parameters which control the way of how iteration process should terminates as well as how iteration process should be processed by means of parallelization to use the multicore processors. During the problem searching GPdotNET records the history, so you can see when the best solution is found, how much time pass since last iteration process started, or how much time is remain to finish currently running iteration process.
Due to the fact that GP is the method which requires lot of processing time, GPdotNET provides parallelization, which speed up the process of searching. Enabling or disabling the parallelization processing is just a click of the button.

1.1 GPdotNET Open source project

From developer point of view GPdotNET is .NET (Mono) application written in C# programming language which can run both on Windows and Linux based OS, or any OS which supports Mono framework. Project started in 2006 within postgraduate study for modeling and optimization with evolutionary algorithms. As open source project, GPdotNET is first published on November 5 2009 on codeplex.com. The project is licensed under GNU Library General Public License (LGPL). For information about license and other kind of copyright please see http://gpdotnet.codeplex.com/license. The project is hosted at http://gpdotnet.codeplex.com. Main place for all news, documentation and code changes is my blog site at https://bhrnjica.wordpress.com/gpdotnet.

1.2 How to citate GPdotNET

GPdotNET is used from all around the world, in scientific papers, journals, books, for diploma works, master thesis or Dissertations. It is free to use GPdotNET with proper citation. So if you want to use the GPdotNET you need the right way to citate the tool.

Use this citation example in your paper, book etc.:

[1] B. I. Hrnjica, GPdotNET V4.0- artificial intelligence tool [Computer program], http://gpdotnet.codeplex.com, accessed {date}.

Or

[1] Bahrudin I. Hrnjica, GPdotNET V4.0 – artificial intelligence tool [Computer program], http://gpdotnet.codeplex.com, accessed {date}.