[Haskell-cafe] GSoC proposal: Data Visualization

Ernesto Rodriguez neto at netowork.me
Sat Apr 13 11:45:27 CEST 2013

Hi Hienrich,

It is indeed a big scope as you mentioned. Matlab has been working for
years to get this functionality right. On the other hand, the project you
linked is interesting. For me it would already be a huge advantage if I
could edit and re-evaluate expressions interactively (in a comfortable GUI,
not ghci). Also a plot widget with sliders would also help. I was wondering
if you know any reason the project has not been worked on for various
months (as I see in the repo). Is there anyone working in this project and
has a later version? I mean these are features that are even available in
free math packages such as Sage.

Best regards,

Ernesto Rodriguez

On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM, Heinrich Apfelmus <
apfelmus at quantentunnel.de> wrote:

> Ernesto Rodriguez wrote:
>> Dear Haskell Community,
>> During the last months I used Haskell for machine learning, particularly
>> in
>> the field of Echo State Neural Networks. The main drawback I encountered
>> is
>> that its difficult to visualize and plot data in Haskell in spite the fact
>> there are a couple of plotting libraries. Data visualization is very
>> important in the field of machine learning research (not so much in
>> machine
>> learning implementation) since humans are very efficient to analyze
>> graphical input to figure out what is going on in order to determine
>> possible adjustments. I was wondering if other members of the community
>> have experienced this drawback and would be interested in improved data
>> visualization for Haskell, especially if there is interest to use Haskell
>> for machine learning research. I collected my ideas in the following page:
>>  https://github.com/netogallo/**Visualizer<https://github.com/netogallo/Visualizer>. Please provide me with feedback
>> because if the proposal is interesting for the community I would start
>> working with it, even if it doesn't make it to this GSoC, but a project
>> like this will need a lot of collaboration for it to be successful.
> Your project is very ambitious! In fact, too ambitious.
> Essentially, you want to build an interactive environment for evaluating
> Haskell expressions. The use case you have in mind is data visualization
> for machine learning, but that is just a special case. If you can zoom in
> and out of plots of infinite time series, you can zoom in and out of audio
> data, and then why not add an interactive synthesizer widget to create that
> audio data in the first place.
> Your idea decomposes into many parts, each of which would easily fill an
> entire GSoC project on their own.
> * GUI. Actually, we currently don't have a GUI library that is easy to
> install for everyone. Choosing wxHaskell or gtk2hs immediately separates
> your user base into three disjoint parts. I think it's possible to use the
> web browser as GUI instead (<https://github.com/**
> HeinrichApfelmus/threepenny-**gui<https://github.com/HeinrichApfelmus/threepenny-gui>
> >).
> * Displaying Haskell values in a UI. You mentioned that you want matrices
> to come with a contextual menu where you can select different
> transformations on them. It's just a minor step to allow any Haskell
> function operating on them. I have a couple of ideas on how to do this is
> in a generic fashion. Unfortunately, the project from last year <
> http://hackage.haskell.org/**trac/summer-of-code/ticket/**1609<http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/summer-of-code/ticket/1609>>
> did not succeed satisfactorily. There were some other efforts, but I
> haven't seen anything released.
> * UI programming is hard. You could easily spend an entire project on
> implementing a single visualization, for instance an infinite time series
> with responsive zoom. It's not difficult to implement something, but adding
> the right level of polish so that people want to use it takes effort.
> There's a reason that Matlab costs money, and there's a reason that your
> mentor relies on it.
> * Functionality specific to machine learning. Converting Vector to a
> format suitable for representation of matrices, etc. This is your primary
> interest.
> Note that, unfortunately, the parts depend on each other from top to
> bottom. It's possible to write functionality specific to machine learning,
> but it would be of little impact if it doesn't come with a good UI.
> Best regards,
> Heinrich Apfelmus
> --
> http://apfelmus.nfshost.com
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Ernesto Rodriguez

Bachelor of Computer Science - Class of 2013
Jacobs University Bremen
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