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R & Julia translation of Python "Make your own neural network" code, plus Python, R and Julia snippets for 538 riddle
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PyData London 2017

Code used in my PyData London 2017 presentation 'Journeys through JuPyteR'

We have the R, Python and Julia implementations of a simulation answer to this 538 riddler problem

There are also R and Julia translations of Python code in the book "Make your own neural network"

Many thanks to Tariq Rashid for writing this book (available here)

The notebooks ("part2_mnist_data_set.Rmd" and "part2_neural_network_mnist_data.Rmd") are 'word-for-word' translations of the Jupyter notebooks here, so it may not be fully Rcentric, but hopefully it can be a little tool for people who want to see how a line in Python can be written in R. Likewise the notebooks "julia_part2_mnist_data_set.pynb" and "julia_part2_neural_network.ipynb" are the Julia equivalents.

An initial concern is that the R code is about twice as slow as Python code. Further profiling of the code shows that it is the last matrix multiplication of the train function that is taken up a huge period of time, roughly 80%. The code finds the outer product of two vectors; byte compilation, using C++ code or tcrossprod didn't quicken the code. Two main resons come to mind:

  1. R numbers are float64 so will be slower than Python and Julia matrices which can be set to float32
  2. The garbage collection done at the end of a for loop in R will slow things down.
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