Deep Learning with R
François Chollet with J. J. Allaire
  • MEAP began November 2017
  • Publication in January 2018 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781617295546
  • 325 pages (estimated)
  • printed in black & white

Artificial intelligence has made some incredible leaps. Deep learning systems now deliver near-human speech and image recognition, not to mention machines capable of beating world champion Go masters. Deep learning applies to a widening range of problems, such as question answering, machine translation, and optical character recognition. It's behind photo tagging, self-driving cars, virtual assistants and other previously impossible applications.

In particular, deep learning excels at machine perception problems, such as understanding image, video, or sound data. For example, suppose you want to tag a large collection of images—"dog", "cat", "Mom", etc. With deep learning, you can create a model that maps such tags to images, learning only from examples. This system can then be applied to new images, automating the process. You just feed the deep learning model examples to start generating useful results on new data.

Table of Contents detailed table of contents

Part 1: The fundamentals of Deep Learning

1. What is deep learning?

1.1. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning

1.1.1. Artificial intelligence

1.1.2. Machine Learning

1.1.3. Learning representations from data

1.1.4. The "deep" in deep learning

1.1.5. Understanding how deep learning works, in three figures

1.1.6. What deep learning has achieved so far

1.1.7. Don’t believe the short-term hype

1.1.8. The promise of AI

1.2. Before deep learning: a brief history of machine learning

1.2.1. Probabilistic modeling

1.2.2. Early neural networks

1.2.3. Kernel methods

1.2.4. Decision trees, random forests, and gradient boosting machines

1.2.5. Back to neural networks

1.2.6. What makes deep learning different

1.2.7. The modern machine-learning landscape

1.3. Why deep learning? Why now?

1.3.1. Hardware

1.3.2. Data

1.3.3. Algorithms

1.3.4. A new wave of investment

1.3.5. The democratization of deep learning

1.3.6. Will it last?

2. Before we begin: the mathematical blocks of neural networks

2.1. A first look at a neural network

2.2. Data representations for neural networks

2.2.1. Scalars (0D tensors)

2.2.2. Vectors (1D tensors)

2.2.3. Matrices (2D tensors)

2.2.4. 3D tensors and higher-dimensional tensors

2.2.5. Key attributes

2.2.6. Manipulating tensors in R

2.2.7. The notion of data batches

2.2.8. Real-world examples of data tensors

2.2.9. Vector data

2.2.10. Timeseries data or sequence data

2.2.11. Image data

2.2.12. Video data

2.3. The gears of neural networks: tensor operations

2.3.1. Element-wise operations

2.3.2. Operations involving tensors of different dimensions

Tensor dot

2.3.3. Tensor reshaping

2.3.4. Geometric interpretation of tensor operations

2.3.5. A geometric interpretation of deep learning

2.4. The engine of neural networks: gradient-based optimization

2.4.1. What’s a derivative?

2.4.2. Derivative of a tensor operation: the gradient

2.4.3. Stochastic gradient descent

2.4.4. Chaining derivatives: the backpropagation algorithm

2.4.5. In summary: training neural networks using gradient descent

2.5. Looking back at our first example

3. Getting started with neural networks

3.1. Anatomy of a neural network

3.1.1. Layers: the building blocks of deep learning

3.1.2. Models: networks of layers

3.1.3. Loss functions and optimizers: keys to configuring the learning process

3.2. Introduction to Keras

3.2.1. Keras, TensorFlow, Theano, and CNTK

3.2.2. Installing Keras

3.2.3. Developing with Keras: a quick overview

3.3. Setting up a deep-learning workstation

3.3.1. Getting Keras running: two options

3.3.2. Running deep-learning jobs in the cloud: pros and cons

3.3.3. What is the best GPU for deep learning?

3.4. Classifying movie reviews: a binary classification example

3.4.1. The IMDB dataset

3.4.2. Preparing the data

3.4.3. Building your network

3.4.4. Validating your approach

3.4.5. Using a trained network to generate predictions on new data

3.4.6. Further experiments

3.4.7. Wrapping up

3.5. Classifying newswires: a multiclass classification example

3.5.1. The Reuters dataset

3.5.2. Preparing the data

3.5.3. Building your network

3.5.4. Validating your approach

3.5.5. Generating predictions on new data

3.5.6. A different way to handle the labels and the loss

3.5.7. The importance of having sufficiently large intermediate layers

3.5.8. Further experiments

3.5.9. Wrapping up

3.6. Predicting house prices: a regression example

3.6.1. The Boston Housing Price dataset

3.6.2. Preparing the data

3.6.3. Building your network

3.6.4. Validating your approach using K-fold validation

3.6.5. Wrapping up

3.7. Summary

4. Fundamentals of machine learning

4.1. Four branches of machine learning

4.1.1. Supervised learning

4.1.2. Unsupervised learning

4.1.3. Self-supervised learning

4.1.4. Reinforcement learning

4.2. Evaluating machine-learning models

4.2.1. Training, validation, and test sets

4.2.2. Things to keep in mind

4.3. Data preprocessing, feature engineering, and feature learning

4.3.1. Data preprocessing for neural networks

4.3.2. Feature engineering

4.4. Overfitting and underfitting

4.4.1. Reducing the network’s size

4.4.2. Adding weight regularization

4.4.3. Adding dropout

4.5. The universal workflow of machine learning

4.5.1. Defining the problem and assembling a dataset

4.5.2. Choosing a measure of success

4.5.3. Deciding on an evaluation protocol

4.5.4. Preparing your data

4.5.5. Developing a model that does better than a baseline

4.5.6. Scaling up: developing a model that overfits

4.5.7. Regularizing your model and tuning your hyperparameters

Part 2: Deep learning in practice

5. Deep learning for computer vision

5.1. Introduction to convnets

5.1.1. The convolution operation

5.1.2. The max-pooing operation

5.2. Training a convnet from scratch on a small dataset

5.2.1. The relevance of deep learning for small-data problems

5.2.2. Downloading the data

5.2.3. Building your network

5.2.4. Data preprocessing

5.2.5. Using data augmentation

5.3. Using a pretrained convnet

5.3.1. Feature extraction

5.3.2. Fine-tuning

5.3.3. Take-aways: using convnets with small datasets

5.4. Visualizing what convnets learn

5.4.1. Visualizing intermediate activations

5.4.2. Visualizing convnet filters

5.4.3. Visualizing heatmaps of class activation

5.5. Summary

6. Deep learning for text and sequences

6.1. Working with text data

6.1.1. One-hot encoding of words and characters

6.1.2. Using word embeddings

6.1.3. Putting it all together: from raw text to word embeddings

6.1.4. Wrapping up

6.2. Understanding recurrent neural networks

6.2.1. A recurrent layer in Keras

6.2.2. Understanding the LSTM and GRU layers

6.2.3. A concrete LSTM example in Keras

6.2.4. Wrapping up

6.3. Advanced use of recurrent neural networks

6.3.1. A temperature-forecasting problem

6.3.2. Preparing the data

6.3.3. A common-sense, non-machine-learning baseline

6.3.4. A basic machine-learning approach

6.3.5. A first recurrent baseline

6.3.6. Using recurrent dropout to fight overfitting

6.3.7. Stacking recurrent layers

6.3.8. Using bidirectional RNNs

6.3.9. Going even further

6.3.10. Wrapping up

6.4. Sequence processing with convnets

6.4.1. Understanding 1D convolution for sequence data

6.4.2. 1D pooling for sequence data

6.4.3. Implementing a 1D convnet

6.4.4. Combining CNNs and RNNs to process long sequences

6.4.5. Wrapping up

6.5. Summary

7. Advanced deep-learning best practices

7.1. Going beyond the Sequential model: the Keras functional API

7.1.1. Introduction to the functional API

7.1.2. Multi-input models

7.1.3. Multi-output models

7.1.4. Directed acyclic graphs of layers

7.1.5. Layer weight sharing

7.1.6. Models as layers

7.1.7. Wrapping up

7.2. Inspecting and monitoring deep-learning models using Keras callbacks and TensorBoard

7.2.1. Using callbacks to act on a model during training

7.2.2. Introduction to TensorBoard: the TensorFlow visualization framework

7.2.3. Wrapping up

7.3. Getting the most out of your models

7.3.1. Advanced architecture patterns

7.3.2. Hyperparameter optimization

7.3.3. Model ensembling

7.3.4. Wrapping up

7.4. Summary

8. Generative deep learning

8.1. Text generation with LSTM

8.1.1. A brief history of generative recurrent networks

8.1.2. How do you generate sequence data?

8.1.3. The importance of the sampling strategy

8.1.4. Implementing character-level LSTM text generation

8.2. DeepDream

8.2.1. Implementing DeepDream in Keras

8.2.2. Wrapping up

8.3. Neural style transfer

8.3.1. The content loss

8.3.2. The style loss

8.3.3. Neural style transfer in Keras

8.3.4. Wrapping up

8.4. Generating images with variational autoencoders

8.4.1. Sampling from latent spaces of images

8.4.2. Concept vectors for image editing

8.4.3. Variational autoencoders

8.4.4. Wrapping up

8.5. jmk,Introduction to generative adversarial networks

8.5.1. A schematic GAN implementation

8.5.2. A bag of tricks

8.5.3. The generator

8.5.4. The discriminator

8.5.5. The adversarial network

8.5.6. How to train your DCGAN

8.5.7. Wrapping up

8.6. Summary

9. Conclusions

9.1. Key concepts in review

9.1.1. Different types of approaches to AI

9.1.2. What makes deep learning special within the field of machine learning

9.1.3. How to think about deep learning

9.1.4. Key enabling technologies

9.1.5. The universal machine-learning workflow

9.1.6. Key network architectures

9.1.7. The space of possibilities

9.2. The limitations of deep learning

9.2.1. The risk of anthropomorphizing machine-learning models

9.2.2. Local generalization vs. extreme generalization

9.2.3. Wrapping up

9.3. The future of deep learning

9.3.1. Models as programs

9.3.2. Beyond backpropagation and differentiable layers

9.3.3. Automated machine learning

9.3.4. Lifelong learning and modular subroutine reuse

9.3.5. The long-term vision

9.4. Staying up to date in a fast-moving field

9.4.1. Practice on real-world problems using Kaggle

9.4.2. Read about the latest developments on arXiv

9.4.3. Explore the Keras ecosystem

9.5. Final words


Appendix A: Installing Keras and its dependencies on Ubuntu

A.1. Overview of the installation process

A.2. Installing the Python scientific suite

A.3. Setting up GPU support

A.4. Installing Theano (optional)

A.5. Installing Keras

Appendix B: Running RStudio Server on a EC2 GPU instance

B.1. Why would you want to use AWS for deep learning?

B.2. Why would you not want to use AWS for deep learning?

B.3. Setting up an AWS GPU instance

B.4. Installing Keras

B.5. Accessing RStudio Server

B.5.1. SSH Tunnel Access

B.5.2. Plain HTTP Access

About the Technology

Although deep learning can be a challenging subject, new technologies make it much easier to get started than ever before. The Keras deep learning library featured in this book puts ease of use and accessibility front and center, making it a great fit for new practitioners. Keras is also suitable for advanced use cases. In fact, almost all deep learning competitions on are won using Keras code.

About the book

Deep Learning with R is for developers and data scientists with some R experience who want to use deep learning to solve real-world problems. The book is structured around a series of practical examples that introduce each new concept and demonstrate best practices. You'll begin by learning what deep learning is, how it connects with AI and Machine Learning, and why it's rapidly gaining in importance right now. You'll then dive into practical applications of computer vision, natural language processing, and more. There's no better way to get started than by learning from François Chollet, the creator of Keras, and J.J. Allaire, who wrote the R interface to Keras! By the time you reach the end of this book, you'll have the knowledge and hands-on skills to apply deep learning in your own projects.

What's inside

  • Understand key machine learning concepts
  • Set up a computer environment for deep learning
  • Convolutional neural networks for image classification
  • Visualizing neural networks
  • Recurrent neural networks for text and sequence classification
  • Image style transfer, text generation and image generation

About the reader

You'll need intermediate R programming skills. No previous experience with machine learning or deep learning is required.

About the authors

François Chollet is a deep learning researcher at Google and the author of the Keras deep learning library. He blogs about deep learning at

J.J. Allaire is the Founder of RStudio and the creator of the RStudio IDE. J.J. is the author of the R interfaces to TensorFlow and Keras.

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