Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

BLESS: Bottom-up leverage score sampling

Python code implementing the ridge leverage score sampling algorithm BLESS presented in: On Fast Leverage Score Sampling and Optimal Learning (NIPS 2018). The implementation can exploit both GPU and CPU resources.

Modules required

  • numpy is a mandatory requirement
  • cupy is optionally required to use GPU resources
  • tqdm is optionally required for better progress bars


The algorithm BLESS is contained in a single python file, and can be installed simply by placing it in your PYTHONPATH (e.g. your current folder)


The algorithm is implemented by the function

bless(X, similarity_func, lam_final=2.0, qbar=2, random_state=None, H=None, force_cpu=False, verbose=True)

It returns an (eps, lambda)-accurate dictionary of Nystrom centers sampled according to approximate RLS.

Given data X, a similarity function, and its related similarity matrix similarity_function(X, X), an (eps, lambda)-accurate dictionary approximates all principal components of the similarity matrix with a singular value larger than lambda, up to a (1+eps) multiplicative error.

The algorithm is introduced and analyzed in [Rudi et al. 18], for a more formal definition of (eps, lambda)-accuracy and other potential uses see [Calandriello et al. 18].


  • X : Input data, as an ndarray-like (n x m) object.

  • similarity_func: callable similarity (kernel) function between points. Denoting with K the kernel, it must satisfy the interface
    similarity_func(X_1) = similarity_func(X_1, X_1),
    similarity_func(X_1, X_2) = K(X_1, X_2),
    similarity_func.diag(X_1) = diag(K(X_1, X_1)),
    This interface is inspired by scikit-learn's implementation of kernel functions in Gaussian Processes. Any of the kernels provided by sklearn (e.g. sklearn.gaussian_process.kernels.RBF or sklearn.gaussian_process.kernels.PairwiseKernel) should work out of the box.

  • lam_final: final lambda (i.e. as in (eps, lambda)-accuracy) desired. Roughly, the final dictionary will approximate all eigenvalues larger than lam_final, and therefore smaller lam_final creates larger, more accurate dictionaries.

  • qbar: Oversampling parameter. BLESS includes centers in the output dictionary using approximate RLS sampling. The qbar >= 1 parameter is used to increase the sampling probabilities and sample size by a qbar factor. This reduces variance and the negative effects of randomness on the accuracy of the algorithm, but at the same time the size of the output dictionary scales linearly with qbar. Empirically, a small factor qbar = [2,10] seems to work. It is suggested to start with a small number and increase if the algorithm fails to terminate or is not accurate. For more details, see Rudi et al. 2018

  • random_state: Random number generator (RNG) used for the algorithm. By default, if random_state is not provided, a numpy's RandomState with default seeding is used. If a numpy's RandomState is passed, it is used as RNG. If an int is passed, it is used to seed a RandomState.

  • H: Number of iterations of the algorithm (i.e. rounds of reduction from n to lam_final), defaults to log(n) if H = None.

  • force_cpu: If True, forces the use of CPU. In this case, BLESS does not even attempt to load cupy as a GPU driver, and can be used without cupy installed.

  • verbose: Controls verbosity of debug output, including progress bars. The progress bar reports:

    • lam: lambda value of the current iteration
    • m: current size of the dictionary (number of centers contained)
    • m_expected: expected size of the dictionary before sampling
    • probs_dist:(mean, max, min) of the approximate RLSs at the current iteration


An (eps, lambda)-accurate dictionary dictionary centers_dict (with high probability). If centers_dict contains m entries then the outpout fields are as follows

  • centers_dict.idx: the indices of the m selected samples in the input dataset X
  • centers_dict.X': the (m x d) numpy.ndarray containing the selected samples
  • centers_dict.probs: the probabilities (i.e. approximate RLSs) used to sample the dictionary
  • lam: the final lambda accuracy
  • qbar: the qbar used to sample the dictionary, as a proxy for the eps-accuracy

Using the output:

A few functions that uses the output of BLESS to build some objects useful in different learning applications are also implemented.
In particular the function

get_nystrom_embeddings(X, centers_dict, similarity_func, force_cpu=False)

computes the Nystrom embeddings using the centers sampled by BLESS.

The function

get_nystrom_matrix_approx(X, centers_dict, similarity_func, force_cpu=False)

computes the Nystrom matrix approximation using the centers sampled by BLESS.

The function

get_nystrom_PCA(X, centers_dict, similarity_func, k=-1, force_cpu=False)

computes the PCA with the Nystrom approximation using the centers sampled by BLESS.

Usage Example

The following example is included in the file, so simply run python to test the installation.

    from sklearn.gaussian_process.kernels import RBF
    X_test = np.random.randn(30000, 10)
    r = np.random.RandomState(42)

    D_test = bless(X_test, RBF(length_scale=10), 10, 10, r, 10, force_cpu=True)

        import cupy
        D_test2 = bless(X_test, RBF(length_scale=10), 10, 10, r, 10, force_cpu=False)
    except ImportError:
        print("cupy not found, defaulting to numpy")


[1] Rudi A, Calandriello D, Carratino L, Rosasco L. On fast leverage score sampling and optimal learning. In NeurIPS 2018

  title={On fast leverage score sampling and optimal learning},
  author={Rudi, Alessandro and Calandriello, Daniele and Carratino, Luigi and Rosasco, Lorenzo},
  booktitle={Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems},

[2] Calandriello D, Lazaric A, Valko M. Distributed adaptive sampling for kernel matrix approximation. AI&STATS 2017.

  title={Distributed adaptive sampling for kernel matrix approximation},
  author={Calandriello, Daniele and Lazaric, Alessandro and Valko, Michal},
  booktitle={Artificial Intelligence and Statistics},


Fast algorithm for leverage score sampling, low rank (kernel) matrix factorization and PCA






No releases published


No packages published