Get Started with the OPU

Now let’s step into building a whole pipeline.


  • learn about the different lightonml modules
    • how to load a dataset
    • how to encode data
    • how to perform random projections with the OPU
  • learn why changing the dimensionality of data in machine learning problems is helpful.
import warnings
from IPython.core.display import display, HTML
display(HTML("<style>.container { width:100% !important; }</style>"))

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline
random_state = np.random.RandomState(1234)

MNIST dataset

The MNIST dataset is composed of 60000 labeled training examples and 10000 labeled test examples of handwritten digits. Each image is 28x28 and in grayscale. The lightonml loader offers the images already flattened in arrays of length 784 (28x28). Other datasets are available in lightonml.datasets.

from lightonml.datasets import MNIST
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

(X_train, y_train), (X_test, y_test) = MNIST()
X, y = np.concatenate([X_train, X_test]), np.concatenate([y_train, y_test])
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=10000,
print('Train examples are arrays of shape {} with elements of type {}.'.format(X_train.shape,
print('Test examples are arrays of shape {} with elements of type {}.'.format(X_test.shape,
Train examples are arrays of shape (60000, 784) with elements of type uint8.
Test examples are arrays of shape (10000, 784) with elements of type uint8.
f, axes = plt.subplots(2, 5, sharex='col', sharey='row')

axes[0][0].imshow(X_train[0].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[0][1].imshow(X_train[6000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[0][2].imshow(X_train[12669].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[0][3].imshow(X_train[19000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[0][4].imshow(X_train[25020].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[1][0].imshow(X_train[33000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[1][1].imshow(X_train[39000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[1][2].imshow(X_train[44000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[1][3].imshow(X_train[50000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
axes[1][4].imshow(X_train[55000].reshape(28, 28), cmap='gray')
<matplotlib.image.AxesImage at 0x7f21d36f5d68>
# convert to float
X_train = X_train.astype('float')
X_test = X_test.astype('float')

Ridge classification

print('Min: {}, {}'.format(X_train.min(), X_test.min()))
print('Max: {}, {}'.format(X_train.max(), X_test.max()))
# scale train data
X_train /= 255
X_test /= 255
print('Min: {}, {}'.format(X_train.min(), X_test.min()))
print('Max: {}, {}'.format(X_train.max(), X_test.max()))
Min: 0.0, 0.0
Max: 255.0, 255.0
Min: 0.0, 0.0
Max: 1.0, 1.0

Ridge regression is a linear model which solves

\[\underset{\beta \in \mathbb{R}^{p \times q}}{\operatorname{argmin}}||\mathbf{X}\beta-\mathbf{Y}||^2_2+\gamma||\beta||^2_2\]

where \(\mathbf{X} \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times p}\) are the sample images and \(\mathbf{Y} \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times q}\) are the one-hot encoded labels, while \(\beta\) are the parameters of the model.

from sklearn.linear_model import RidgeClassifier

clf = RidgeClassifier(), y_train)
train_score = clf.score(X_train, y_train)
test_score = clf.score(X_test, y_test)

print("Train accuracy: {:.4f}".format(train_score))
print("Test accuracy: {:.4f}".format(test_score))
Train accuracy: 0.8593
Test accuracy: 0.8520

Kernel Ridge Classification and Approximating Kernels

The performance of the standard ridge regression is quite poor, we can improve it using the kernel trick, but this approach has a major drawback: we need to invert an \(n \times n\) matrix and matrix inversion is an \(O(n^3)\) operation.

We can follow Random features for large-scale kernel machines, A. Rahimi and B. Recht (2007) and solve a standard ridge regression on a nonlinear mapping of the data to a new feature space of a different dimension.

Our nonlinear mapping is a linear random projection \(\mathbf{R} \in \mathbb{C}^{m \times p}\) followed by a nonlinear function \(\Phi\):

\[\mathbf{X_{new}} = \Phi(\mathbf{R}\mathbf{X})\]

If we choose \(m=10000\), we have now to invert a matrix of size \(10000^2\) instead of \(60000^2\).

When the number of random projections \(m\) tends to infinity, the inner product between the projected data points approximates a kernel function, due to the concentration of measure (Computation with infinite neural networks, C. Williams, 1998).

Random projections have allowed to deal with large-scale machine learning problem, reaching the point where storing the random matrix and computing the random features has become the bottleneck of the algorithm.

We can use the OPU to overcome these problems and compute the random mapping very quickly and without the need to store a big random matrix. We can then solve the ridge regression problem on the random features.

OPU pipeline

(X_train, y_train), (X_test, y_test) = MNIST()
X, y = np.concatenate([X_train, X_test]), np.concatenate([y_train, y_test])
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=10000,

Data and data encoding

The OPU requires a binary matrix of type uint8 as input, so we need to encode our data in binary format. It can be done by using one of the Encoders provided in lightonml.encoding or by building a custom one.

For grayscale images like MNIST, we can use a very simple BinaryThresholdEncoder, that receives an array of uint8 between 0 and 255 as input and returns an array of zeros and ones of type uint8 according to a threshold. SeparatedBitPlanEncoder and its companion MixingBitPlanDecoder instead work nicely with RGB images.

from lightonml.encoding.base import BinaryThresholdEncoder
encoder = BinaryThresholdEncoder()
print('Encoder threshold: ', encoder.threshold_enc)
Encoder threshold:  25
X_train_encoded = encoder.fit_transform(X_train)
X_test_encoded = encoder.fit_transform(X_test)

Random Mapping on the OPU

To use the OPU, we need to import the OPU class from lightonopu.opu. We initialize an OPU object and an OPURandomMapping instance.

from lightonopu.opu import OPU
from lightonml.random_projections.opu import OPURandomMapping
opu = OPU() # OPU object to interface with the hardware
n_components = 10000 # number of random projections

# disable_pbar disables the progress bar that is displayed when performing random projections
random_mapping = OPURandomMapping(opu=opu, n_components=n_components)
You can explicitly open the OPU to perform the transforms with
If the OPU isn’t open, OPURandomMapping will do it for you. The catch is that in this case at the end of the transform it will be closed again (because internally it uses a context manager). This causes an overhead if you have to perform many different projections sequentially, therefore in that case it is advised to use
train_random_features = random_mapping.fit_transform(X_train_encoded)
test_random_features = random_mapping.transform(X_test_encoded)
OPU: random projections of an array of size (60000,784)
OPU: random projections of an array of size (10000,784)


Some encoders, like SeparatedBitPlanEncoder, need a specific decoder to decode the random features (MixingBitPlanDecoder). In this case we don’t need one.


We will obtain a much better performance than before by using a linear classifier on the non-linear features.

classifier = RidgeClassifier()

Fit the classifier, y_train)
train_accuracy = classifier.score(train_random_features, y_train)
test_accuracy = classifier.score(test_random_features, y_test)

print('Train accuracy: {:.2f} Test accuracy: {:.2f}'.format(train_accuracy*100, test_accuracy*100))
Train accuracy: 98.69 Test accuracy: 96.15