Enrico Rubboli

Software Engineer and Enterpreneur
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Linear Regression in Go - Part 2


In the previous post we covered the hypothesis function, which is the function that will predict a value given a set of features for a new unknown case. In this post we’re going to build the cost function, a way to mearsure the error of the prediction function with a specific set of weights .

For convenience this is the function we discussed earlier:

$$h_\theta(x) = \theta^T x$$

As we said linear regression is a supervised algorithm, this means that we need to train it with a list of examples in order to find the values of the vector $\theta$ where the average error is minimized (we’ll discuss a common bias called overfitting later).

The cost function is a function that calculate the error of a given set of $\vec{\theta}$ and a training set. In the following graph there is a subset of the previous examples, just 5 houses. Plus a green line that is the result of plotting the hypotesis function, the thin red lines are the difference between a value in the training set and the predicted value by our hypothesis.

To calculate the error we’ll use the following function:

$$J(\theta) = \frac{1}{2m}\sum_{i=0}^{m}(y_i - h_\theta(x_i))^2$$

It’s basically the mean of the squares of the difference betwen the predicted value $h_\theta(x)$ and the actual value $y$.

Consider that now $X$ is a matrix of $m,n$ where $m$ is the number of examples in our training set (in the graph plotted here we have 5 houses) and $n$ is the number of features (like house size, # of bathrooms, # of bedrooms and so on)

So here is our go implementation using gonum matrix :

 1func Cost(x *mat64.Dense, y, theta *mat64.Vector) float64 {
 2	//initialize receivers
 3	m, _ := x.Dims()
 4	h := mat64.NewDense(m, 1, make([]float64, m))
 5	squaredErrors := mat64.NewDense(m, 1, make([]float64, m))
 7	//actual calculus
 8	h.Mul(x, theta)
 9	squaredErrors.Apply(func(r, c int, v float64) float64 {
10		return math.Pow(h.At(r, c)-y.At(r, c), 2)
11	}, h)
12	j := mat64.Sum(squaredErrors) * 1.0 / (2.0 * float64(m))
14	return j

As usual the full code is here and a test is here .

In part 3 we’re going to build the method that minimize the error choosing the proper $\theta$ values. You can find part 3 here