Reinforcement Learning with Monte Carlo and Tabulation Methods

I was reading another blog post about reinforcement learning using Monte Carlo and tabulation methods that provided an example of the technique using Blackjack. I decided to implement my own method using Tic-Tac-Toe as an example. The basic idea is that you generate a random state of a game, and you generate a random action based on that state. Then you play the rest of the game through until the end and record the outcome. Then you should be able to store the state, action, and outcome as a key in a dictionary that refers to a count. Each time that state-action-outcome occurs again, you update the count by one. Over time, your dictionary will encode information about the relative strengths of different actions for a given state.

Modeling in R with the caret Package

In this post I’ll look at using the `caret` package in R for determining the optimal parameters for a given model. The `caret` package was developed by Max Kuhn, who also developed the `C50` package for decision trees which I talked about in a previous post.

Using PyBrain for Optical Character Recognition (First Whack)

This is my first whack at using PyBrain for optical character recognition. I am limiting myself to numerical data, since that’s what I have laying around needing to be optically recognized the most. I’m also focusing on extra small, and heavily corrupted data.

Tkinter Optical Character Recognition Training Data Labeler

In this post I’ll demonstrate how to build a object oriented Tkinter GUI application for associating labels to filenames in order to quickly and easily build a set of training data. The Submit button will associate the label with the file, and the Save and Quit button will dump the file and its associated label into a Python dict, and then a cPickle file for later use. This is still a little rough around the edges; it assumes that you’re looking for PNG data in the current directory, and the output overwrites previous output, but it’s a start.

Compound Digit Recognition with Random Forests

I noticed that when I photocopy and email documents, the resulting attachment has relatively low resolution, and the digits get melded to one another. I decided to try to build a classifier to begin to sort this out. To this end, I needed to build a data set. First, I used svgfig to produce SVG sans-serif digit pairs, with kerning adjusted at four intervals. Then I used inkscape to create PNG images from the SVG files. Finally, I read the PNG images and wrote them to a NumPy array. I created a set of clean images, and images polluted with Gaussian noise, with a mean of zero, and a variance of 0.1. (The pixels were then rescaled back to the range of 0 to 1.) I also shifted each pair in eight directions. This produced a data set with 7200, 16×16 pixel images, half of which were noisy. I used a random forests classifier from sklearn, and performed 10-fold cross validation.