Neural Networks and Deep Learning (I)

Posted by Kaiyuan Chen on September 10, 2017

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

CH9 Up and running with Tensorflow

It is two parts:

  • build a computation graph
  • run it
import tensorflow as tf
x = tf.Variable(3, name="x") #create nodes 
y = tf.Variable(4, name="y")
f = x*x*y + y + 2

session = tf.Session()
result =


init = tf.global_variables_initializer()
with tf.Session() as sess:
    result = f.eval()

the addition and multiplication ops each take two inputs and produce one output. Constants and variables take no input. The inputs and outputs are multidimensional arrays, called tensors (hence the name “tensor flow”).

for example, for the normal equation, we have

theta = tf.matmul(tf.matmul(tf.matrix_inverse(tf.matmul(XT, X)), XT), y)

as matrix computation

for gradient computation, one thing to takeaway is assign()

training_op = tf.assign(theta, theta - learning_rate * gradients)

or an autodiff hack:

gradients = tf.gradients(mse, [theta])[0]

or an optimizer hack

optimizer = tf.train.GradientDescentOptimizer(learning_rate=learning_rate)
training_op = optimizer.minimize(mse)


Placeholders don’t actually perform any computation, they just output the data you tell them to output at runtime.They are typically used to pass the training data to TensorFlow during training. for example, mini-batch:

A = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, shape=(None, 3))

set up a place holder that is 2 dimensional, with 3 columns and any size

#here to define placeholders because we don't know what kind of data we have
X = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, shape=(None, n + 1), name="X")
y = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, shape=(None, 1), name="y")

#fetch batch
def fetch_batch(epoch, batch_index, batch_size):
    return X_batch, y_batch

with tf.Session as sess:
    for epoch in range(n_epochs):
        for batch_index in range(n_batches)P
            X_batch, y_batch = fetch_batch(epoch, batch_index, batch_size)
  , feed_dict={X: X_batch, y: y_batch})
    best_theta= theta.eval()

saving and restoring

with tf.Session() as sess:
    save_path =, ".")

with tf.Session() as sess:
    saver.restore(sess, save_path)


#add a time stamp 
from datetime import datetime
now = datetime.utcnow().strftime("%Y%m%d%H%M%S")
root_logdir = "tf_logs"
logdir = "{}/run-{}/".format(root_logdir, now)

mse_summary = tf.summary.scalar('MSE', mse)
file_writer = tf.summary.FileWriter(logdir, tf.get_default_graph())

#... in loop
        summary_str = mse_summary.eval(feed_dict={X: X_batch, y: y_batch})
        file_writer.add_summary(summary_str, step)

#close it 

$ source evn/bin/activate $ tensorboard –logdir tf_logs/

Operation: name scope: group related nodes

Relu: rectified linear units linear function as input, result is positive or 0