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MiniProject 2: Classification of Textual Data
COMP 551
Please read this entire document before beginning the assignment.
Preamble
• This mini-project is to be completed in groups of three. All members of a group will receive the same grade
except when a group member is not responding or contributing to the project. If this is the case and there are
major conflicts, please reach out to the group TA for help and flag this in the submitted report. Please note that it
is not expected that all team members will contribute equally. However every team member should make integral
contributions to the project, be aware of the content of the submission and learn the full solution submitted.
• You will submit your assignment on MyCourses as a group. You must register your group on MyCourses and
any group member can submit. See MyCourses for details.

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MiniProject 2: Classification of Textual Data
COMP 551
Please read this entire document before beginning the assignment.
Preamble
• This mini-project is to be completed in groups of three. All members of a group will receive the same grade
except when a group member is not responding or contributing to the project. If this is the case and there are
major conflicts, please reach out to the group TA for help and flag this in the submitted report. Please note that it
is not expected that all team members will contribute equally. However every team member should make integral
contributions to the project, be aware of the content of the submission and learn the full solution submitted.
• You will submit your assignment on MyCourses as a group. You must register your group on MyCourses and
any group member can submit. See MyCourses for details.
• We recommend to use Overleaf for writing your report and Google colab for coding and running the experiments. The latter also gives access to the required computational resources. Both platforms enable remote
collaborations.
• You should use Python for this and the following mini-projects. You are free to use libraries with general
utilities, such as matplotlib, numpy and scipy for Python, unless stated otherwise in the description of the task.
In particular, in most cases you should implement the models and evaluation functions yourself, which means
you should not use pre-existing implementations of the algorithms or functions as found in SciKit learn, and
other packages. The description will specify this in a per case basis.
Background
In this miniproject you will implement naive Bayes and K-fold cross-validation from scratch, while using logistic
regression 1
from scikit-learn package (or optionally implemented from scratch) – and compare these two algorithms
on two distinct textual datasets. The goal is to gain experience implementing these algorithms from scratch and to get
hands-on experience comparing performance of different models.
1https://scikit-learn.org/stable/modules/generated/sklearn.linear_model.LogisticRegression.html
1
Task 1: Acquire and preprocess the data
Your first task is to acquire the data and clean it (if necessary). To turn the text data into numerical feature, you should
use the bags of words representation using the scikit-learn function CountVectorizer2
for more details on the
function. Please use these online resources as guidelines and avoid direct copy and pasting from them for your project,
make sure to understand each line and try to write it yourself when using these guides.
We will use two datasets in this project, outlined below.
• 20 news group dataset. Use the default train subset (subset=‘train’, and remove=([‘headers’, ‘footers’, ‘quotes’])
in sklearn.datasets) to train the models and report the final performance on the test subset. Note: you need to
start with the text data and convert text to feature vectors. Please refer to https://scikit-learn.org/
stable/tutorial/text_analytics/working_with_text_data.html for a tutorial on the steps
needed for this. You can refer to this tutorial for further tips on how to do data-processing with text data.
• IMDB Reviews: http://ai.stanford.edu/˜amaas/data/sentiment/ Here, you need to use only
reviews in the train folder for training and report the performance from the test folder. You need to work with
the text documents to build your own features and ignore the pre-formatted feature files.
You are free to use any Python libraries you like to extract features and preprocess the data.
Task 2: Implement Naive Bayes and k-fold cross validation
You are free to implement these models as you see fit, but you should follow the equations that are presented in
the lecture slides, and you must implement the models from scratch (i.e., you cannot use SciKit Learn or any other
pre-existing implementations of these methods).
In particular, your two main tasks in the part are to:
1. Implement naive Bayes, using the appropriate type of likelihood for features.
2. Implementing k-fold cross validation.
You are free to implement these models in any way you want, but you must use Python and you must implement
the models from scratch (i.e., you cannot use SciKit Learn or similar libraries). Using the numpy package,
however, is allowed and encouraged. Regarding the implementation, we recommend the following approach:
• Implement naive Bayes model as a Python class. You should use the constructor for the class to initialize the model
parameters as attributes, as well as to define other important properties of the model.
• Your model class should have (at least) two functions:
– Define a fit function, which takes the training data (i.e., X and y)—as well as other hyperparameters (e.g.,
the learning rate and/or number of gradient descent iterations)—as input. This function should train your
model by modifying the model parameters.
– Define a predict function, which takes a set of input points (i.e., X) as input and outputs predictions (i.e.,
yˆ) for these points.
• In addition to the model classes, you should also define a functions evaluate_acc to evaluate the model accuracy.
This function should take the true labels (i.e., y), and target labels (i.e., yˆ) as input, and it should output the accuracy
score.
• Lastly, you should implement a script to run k-fold cross-validation for hyper-parameter tuning and model selection.
Your implementation should have (at least) three parts below:
2https://scikit-learn.org/stable/modules/generated/sklearn.feature_extraction.text.
CountVectorizer.html
2
– Define a cross_validation_split function, which takes training data as input and splits it into k folds.
Each fold is then used once as validation while the k − 1 remaining folds form the training set. (You may
shuffle the data before splitting)
– Define function kfoldCV, which takes train/validation sets generated above and a given model as input. The
function iterate through each train/validation set and returns the average result of each fold.
– Repeat functions above to the given model with different hyper-parameter settings, select the best hyperparameter by the best average k-fold result.
You are free to use any Python libraries you like to tune the hyper-parameters, for example see https://scikitlearn.org/stable/auto_examples/model_selection/plot_randomized_search.html#sphx-glr-autoexamples-model-selection-plot-randomized-search-py.
Task 3: Run experiments
The goal of this project is to have you explore linear classification and compare different features and models. Use
5-fold cross validation to estimate performance in all of the experiments. Evaluate the performance using accuracy.
You are welcome to perform any experiments and analyses you see fit (e.g., to compare different features), but at a
minimum you must complete the following experiments in the order stated below:
1. We expect you to conduct multiclass classification on the 20 news group dataset, and binary classification on
the IMDb Reviews.
2. In a single table, compare and report the performance of the performance of naive Bayes and logistic regression
on each of the two datasets (with their best hyperparameters), and highlight the winner for each dataset and
overall. You could find full hyper-parameters for logistic regression here. 3
3. Further, with a plot, compare the accuracy of the two models as a function of the size of dataset (by controlling
the training size). For example, you can randomly select 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of the available training data
and train your model on this subset. Now, compare the performance of corresponding models and highlight the
best. 4
.
Note: The above experiments are the minimum requirements that you must complete; however, this project is
open-ended. For this part, you might implement logistic regression from scratch (and try different learning rates,
investigate different stopping criteria for the gradient descent), try linear regression for predicting ratings in the IMDB
data, try different text embedding methods as alternatives to bag of words. You are also welcome and encouraged to
try any other model covered in the class, and you are free to implement them yourself or use any Python library that
has their implementation, e.g. the from the scikit-learn package. Of course, you do not need to do all of these things,
but look at them as suggestions and try to demonstrate curiosity, creativity, rigour, and an understanding of the course
material in how you run your chosen experiments and how you report on them in your write-up.
Deliverables
You must submit two separate files to MyCourses (using the exact filenames and file types outlined below):
1. code.zip: Your data processing, classification and evaluation code (as some combination of .py and .ipynb files).
2. writeup.pdf: Your (max 5-page) project write-up as a pdf (details below).
3Logistic Regression: https://scikit-learn.org/stable/modules/generated/sklearn.linear model.LogisticRegression.html
4As an example, see Figure 1 in Ng AY, Jordan MI. On discriminative vs. generative classifiers: A comparison of logistic regression and naive
bayes. In Advances in neural information processing systems 2002 (pp. 841-848).
3
Project write-up
Your team must submit a project write-up that is a maximum of five pages (single-spaced, 11pt font or larger; minimum
0.5 inch margins, an extra page for references/bibliographical content can be used). We highly recommend that students use LaTeX to complete their write-ups. This first mini-project report has relatively strict requirements, but
as the course progresses your project write-ups will become more and more open-ended. You have some flexibility in how you report your results, but you must adhere to the following structure and minimum requirements:
Abstract (100-250 words) Summarize the project task and your most important findings. For example, include
sentences like “In this project we investigated the performance of linear classification models on two benchmark
datasets”, “We found that the logistic regression approach was achieved worse/better accuracy than naive Bayes and
was significantly faster/slower to train.”
Introduction (5+ sentences) Summarize the project task, the two datasest, and your most important findings. This
should be similar to the abstract but more detailed. You should include background information and citations to
relevant work (e.g., other papers analyzing these datasets).
Datasets (5+ sentences) Very briefly describe the and how you processed them. Describe the new features you come
up with in detail. Present the exploratory analysis you have done to understand the data, e.g. class distribution.
Results (7+ sentences, possibly with figures or tables) Describe the results of all the experiments mentioned in
Task 3 (at a minimum) as well as any other interesting results you find. At a minimum you must report:
1. A comparison of the accuracy of naive Bayes and logistic regression on both datasets.
2. Results demonstrating that the feature subset and/or new features you used improved performance.
Discussion and Conclusion (5+ sentences) Summarize the key takeaways from the project and possibly directions
for future investigation.
Statement of Contributions (1-3 sentences) State the breakdown of the workload across the team members.
Evaluation
The mini-project is out of 100 points, and the evaluation breakdown is as follows:
• Completeness (20 points)
– Did you submit all the materials?
– Did you run all the required experiments?
– Did you follow the guidelines for the project write-up?
• Correctness (40 points)
– Are your models implemented correctly?
– Are your reported accuracies close to the reference solutions?
– Do your proposed features actually improve performance, or do you adequately demonstrate that it was
not possible to improve performance?
– Do you observe the correct trends in the experiments (e.g., comparing learning rates)?
• Writing quality (25 points)
4
– Is your report clear and free of grammatical errors and typos?
– Did you go beyond the bare minimum requirements for the write-up (e.g., by including a discussion of
related work in the introduction)?
– Do you effectively present numerical results (e.g., via tables or figures)?
• Originality / creativity (15 points)
– Did you go beyond the bare minimum requirements for the experiments?
– Note: Simply adding in a random new experiment will not guarantee a high grade on this section! You
should be thoughtful and organized in your report.
Final remarks
You are expected to display initiative, creativity, scientific rigour, critical thinking, and good communication skills.
You don’t need to restrict yourself to the requirements listed above – feel free to go beyond, and explore further.