Orange in Space

Did you know that Orange has already been to space? Rosario Brunetto (IAS-Orasy, France) has been working on the analysis of infrared images of asteroid Ryugu as a member of the JAXA Hayabusa2 team. The Hayabusa2 asteroid sample-return mission aims to retrieve data and samples from the near-Earth Ryugu asteroid and analyze its composition. Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu on June 27 and while the spacecraft will return to Earth with a sample only in late 2020, the mission already started collecting and sending back the data. And of course, a part of the analysis of Hayabusa’s space data has been done in Orange!

An image of the asteroid Ryugu acquired by the Hayabusa2 (©JAXA).


Within the Hayabusa2 project, near-infrared spectral data will be collected in three series: the first part is the macro data from remote sensing measurements that are being collected at different altitudes from the asteroid by the Japanese spectrometer NIRS3 (©JAXA). The second part is surface infrared imaging at the micron scale that will soon be performed (October 2018) by the French MicrOmega instrument on the lander MASCOT (DLR-CNES). The third part are the samples that will be analyzed upon return. Among the techniques that will be used in different laboratories around the world in 2021 to analyze the returned samples are the hyperspectral imaging and micro-tomography with an infrared imaging FPA microscope, that will be performed by the IAS team at SMIS-SOLEIL. This means the data will contain satellite spectral images as well as microscope measurements.

Dr. Brunetto is currently working with the first part of the data, namely the macro hyperspectral images of the asteroid. Several tens of thousands of spectra over 70 spectral channels have already been acquired. The main goal of this initial exploration was to constrain the surface composition.

Once the data was preprocessed and cleaned in Python, separate surface regions were extracted in Orange with k-Means and PCA and plotted with the HyperSpectra widget, which comes as a part of the Spectroscopy package. So why was Orange chosen over other tools? Dr. Brunetto says Orange is an easy and friendly tool for complicated things, such as exploring the compositional diversity of the asteroid at the different scales. There are many clustering techniques he can use in Orange and he likes how he can interactively change the number of clusters and the changes immediately show in the plot. This enables the researchers to determine the level of granularity of the analysis, while they can also immediately inspect how each cluster looks like in a hyperspectra plot.

Moreover, one can quickly test methods and visualize the effects and at the same time have a good overview of the workflow. Workflows can also be reused once the new data comes in or, if the pipeline is standard, used on a completely different data set!

A simple workflow for the analysis of spectral data. 😁 A great thing about Orange is that you can label parts of the workflow and explore a different aspect of the data in each branch!


We would of course love to show you the results of the asteroid analysis, but as the project is still ongoing, the data is not yet available to the public. Instead, we asked Zélia Dionnet, dr. Brunetto’s PhD student, to share the results of her work on the organic and mineralogic heterogeneity of the Paris meteorite, which were already published.

She analyzed the composition of the Paris meteorite, which was discovered in 2008 in a statue. The story of how the meteorite was found is quite interesting in itself, but we wanted to know more on how the sample was analyzed in Orange. Dionnet had a slightly larger data set, with 16,000 spectra and 1600 wavenumbers. Just like dr. Brunetto, she used k-Means to discover interesting regions in the sample and Hyperspectra widget to plot the results.

k-Means clusters plotted in the HyperSpectra widget.


At the top, you can see a 2D map of the meteorite sample showing the distribution of the clusters that were identified with k-Means. At the bottom, you see cluster averages for the spectra. The green region is the most interesting one and it shows crystalline minerals, which formed billions of years ago as the hydrothermal processes in the asteroid parent body of the meteorite turned amorphous silicates into phyllosilicates. The purple, on the contrary, shows different micro-sized minerals.

This is how to easily identify the compositional structure of samples with just a couple of widgets. Orange seems to love going to space and can’t wait to get its hands dirty with more astro-data!


Text Workshops in Ljubljana

In the past month, we had two workshops that focused on text mining. The first one, Faksi v praksi, was organized by the University of Ljubljana Career Centers, where high school students learned about what we do at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science. We taught them what text mining is and how to group a collection of documents in Orange. The second one took on a more serious note, as the public sector employees joined us for the third set of workshops from the Ministry of Public Affairs. This time, we did not only cluster documents, but also built predictive models, explored predictions in nomogram, plotted documents on a map and discovered how to find the emotion in a tweet.

These workshops gave us a lot of incentive to improve the Text add-on. We really wanted to support more languages and add extra functionalities to widgets. In the upcoming week, we will release the 0.5.0 version, which introduces support for Slovenian in Sentiment Analysis widget, adds concordance output option to Concordances and, most importantly, implements UDPipe lemmatization, which means Orange will now support about 50 languages! Well, at least for normalization. 😇

Today, we will briefly introduce sentiment analysis for Slovenian. We have added the KKS 1.001 opinion corpus of Slovene web commentaries, which is a part of the CLARIN infrastructure. You can access it in the Corpus widget. Go to Browse documentation corpora and look for Let’s have a quick view in a Corpus Viewer.

The data comes from comment sections of Slovenian online media and contains a fairly expressive language. Let us observe, whether a post is negative or positive. We will use Sentiment Analysis widget and select the Liu Hu method for Slovenian. This is a dictionary based method, where the algorithm sums the positive words and subtracts the sum of negative words. This gives a final score of the post.

We will have to adjust the attributes for a nicer view in a Select Columns widget. Remove all attributes other than sentiment.

Finally, we can observe the results in a Heat Map. The blue lines are the negative posts, while the yellow ones are positive. Let us select the most positive tweets and see, what they are about.

Looks like Slovenians are happy, when petrol gets cheaper and sports(wo)men are winning. We can relate.

Of course, there are some drawbacks of lexicon-based methods. Namely, they don’t work well with phrases, they often don’t consider modern language (see ‘Jupiiiiiii’ or ‘Hooooooraaaaay!’, where the more the letters, the more expressive the word is) and they fail with sarcasm. Nevertheless, even such crude methods give us a nice glimpse into the corpus and enable us to extract interesting documents.

Stay tuned for the information on the release date and the upcoming post on UDPipe infrastructure!

Explaining Kickstarter Success

On Kickstarter most app ideas don’t get funded. But why is that? When we are looking for possible explanations, it is easy to ascribe the failure to the type of the idea.

But what about those rare cases, where an app idea gets funded? Can we figure out why a particular idea succeeded? Our new widget Explain Predictions can do just that – explain why they will succeed. Or at least, explain why the classifier thinks they will.

First, let us load the Kickstarter data from the Datasets widget and inspect it in a Data Table.

Select the data instance you wish to explore in a Data Table.

Now, let’s see why the app Create Games & Apps Without Any Coding got funded.

Explain Predictions needs 3 inputs. Our data set, a classifier and a data sample that we wish to inspect. Connect File widget with Explain Predictions. Then add the classifier, say, Logistic Regression. Finally, select Create Games & Apps Without Any Coding in the Data Table and connect it to the widget.

Explain Predictions needs three inputs.

The highest ranking attributes are those that contributed the most (high Score value). The fact that there were 11 pledge levels, 13 images, many connections to other projects and the length of the project description – all of these attributes add something positive to the funding. On the other side, we see how the duration of the project, description length, maximal pledge tiers and the type of the idea work against the decision to fund the project. Lastly, not having a Facebook page or a video amounts to almost nothing in the making of the final prediction.

High score means the attribute contributed positively to the the final decision (Funded: yes), while low scores contributed negatively.

When explaining the decision of the classifier, we look at the values of the attributes for our sample and how they interact. We do that by approximating Shapely value, since calculating it exactly would sometimes take more then a lifetime. That means customized explanations for every individual case, while treating classifier like a black box. You could do the same for any model the Orange offers, including Neural Networks!

And there you have it, an easy way to know what makes your Kickstarter campaign succeed, cell be classified as healthy, or a bank loan approved.

Data Mining and Machine Learning for Economists

Last week Blaž, Marko and I held a week long introductory Data Mining and Machine Learning course at the Ljubljana Doctoral Summer School 2018. We got a room full of dedicated students and we embarked on a journey through standard and advanced machine learning techniques, all presented of course in Orange. We have covered a wide array of topics, from different clustering techniques (hierarchical clustering, k-means) to predictive models (logistic regression, naive Bayes, decision trees, random forests), regression and regularization, projections, text mining and image analytics.

Related: Data Mining for Business and Public Administration

Definitely the biggest crowd-pleaser was the Geo add-on in combination with the HDI data set. First, we got the HDI data from Datasets. A quick glimpse into a data table to check the output. We have information on some key performance indicators gathered by the United Nations for 188 countries. Now we would like to know which countries are similar based on the reported indicators. We will use Distances with Euclidean distance and use Ward linkage in Hierarchical Clustering.


In Datasets widget we have selected the HDI data set.


The HDI data set contains information on 188 countries, which are described with 66 features. The data set can be used for regression, but we will perform clustering to discover countries, similar by the proposed parameters.


We got our results in a dendrogram. Interestingly, the United States seems similar to Cuba. Let us select this cluster and inspect what the most significant feature for this cluster. We will use the Data output of Hierarchical Clustering which append a column indicating whether the data instances was selected or not. Then we will use Box Plot, group by Selected and check Order by relevance. It seems like these countries have the longest life expectancy at age 59. Go ahead and inspect other clusters by yourself!

Select an interesting cluster in Hierarchical Clustering.


And inspect the results in a box plot. Seems like the selected cluster stands out from the other countries by high life expectancy.


Of course, when we are talking about countries one naturally wants to see them on a map! That is easy. We will use the Geo add-on. First, we need to convert all the country names to geographical coordinates. We will do this with Geocoding, where we will encode column Country to latitude and longitude. Remember to use the same output as before, that is Data to Data.

Use Encode to convert a column with region identifiers (in our case Country) to latitude/longitude pairs.


Now, let us display these countries on a map with Choropleth widget. Beautiful. It is so easy to explore country data, when you see it on a map. You can try coloring also by HDI or any other feature.

Choropleth shows us which countries were in the selected cluster (red). We used Selected as attribute and colored by Mode.


The final workflow:

We always try to keep our workshops fresh and interesting and visualizations are the best way to achieve this. Till the next workshop!







Girls Go Data Mining

This week we held our first Girls Go Data Mining workshop. The workshop brought together curious women and intuitively introduced them to essential data mining and machine learning concepts. Of course, we used Orange to explore visualizations, build predictive models, perform clustering and dive into text analysis. The workshop was supported by NumFocus through their small development grant initiative and we hope to repeat it next year with even more ladies attending!

Related: Text Analysis for Social Scientists

In two days, we covered many topics. On day one, we got to know Orange and the concept of visual programming, where the user construct analytical workflow by stacking visual components. Then we got to know several useful visualizations, such as box plot, scatter plot, distributions, and mosaic display, which give us an initial overview of the data and the potentially interesting patterns. Finally, we got our hands dirty with predictive modeling. We learnt about decision trees, logistic regression, and naive Bayes classifiers, and observed the models in tree viewer and nomogram. It is great having interpretable models and we had great fun exploring what is in the model!

On the second day, we tried to uncover groups in our data with clustering. First, we tried hierarchical clustering and explored the discovered clusters with box plot. Then we also tried k-means and learnt, why this method is better than hierarchical clustering. In the final part, we talked about the methods for text mining, how to do preprocessing, construct a bag of words and perform the machine learning on corpora. We used both clustering and classification and tried to find interesting information about Grimm tales.

One of our workflows, where we explored the data in many different ways, including inspecting misclassifications in a scatter plot!


One thing that always comes up as really useful in our workshops is Orange’s ability to output different types of data. For example, in Hierarchical Clustering, we can select the similarity cutoff at the top and output clusters. Our data table will have an additional column Cluster, with cluster labels for each data instance.


Hierarchial Clustering outputs data with an additional Cluster column.


We can explore clusters by connecting a Box Plot to Hierarchical Clustering, selecting Cluster in Subgroups and using Order by relevance option. This sorts the variables in Box Plot by how well they separate between clusters or, in other words, what is typical of each cluster.

We have selected Cluster in Subgroups section and ticked ‘Order by relevance’ to sort the variables. Variables at the top are the most interesting ones. Looks like giving milk is an exclusive property of cluster C1.


We used and made the cutoff at three clusters. It looks like the first cluster gives milk. Could these be a cluster of mammals?

We said giving milk is a property of cluster C1. By selecting type as our variable, we can see that C1 is a cluster of mammals.


Indeed it is!

Another option is to select a specific cluster in the dendrogram. Then, we have to rewire the connection between Hierarchical Clustering and Box Plot by setting it to Data. Data option will output the entire data set, with an extra column showing whether the data instance was selected or not. In our case, there would be a Yes if the instance is in the selected cluster and No if it is not.

To rewire the connection, double-click on it and drag a line from Data to Data.


We have selected one cluster in the dendrogram, rewired the connection to transmit Data (instead of Selected Data) and observed the results in a Data Table. We see an additional Selected column, which shows whether a data instance was selected in the visualization or not.


Then we can use Box Plot to observe what is particular for our selected cluster.

In this Box Plot we have used Selected in the Subgroups section and kept ‘Order by relevance’ on. The suggested distinctive feature of our selected cluster is having feathers.


It looks like animals from our selected cluster have feathers. Probably, this is a cluster of birds. We can check this with the same procedure as above.

In summary, most Orange visualizations have two outputs – Selected Data and Data. Selected Data will output a subset of data instances selected in the visualization (or selected clusters in the case of hierarchical clustering), while Data will output the entire data table with a column defining whether a data instance was selected or not. This is very useful if we want to inspect what is typical of an interesting group in our data, inspect clusters or even manually define groups.

Overall, this was another interesting workshop and we hope to continue our fruitful partnership with NumFocus and keep offering free educational events for beginners and experts alike!

From Surveys to Orange

Today we have finished a series of workshops for the Ministry of Public Affairs. This was a year-long cooperation and we had many students asking many different questions. There was however one that we talked about a lot. If I have a survey, how do I get it into Orange?

Related: Analyzing Surveys

We are using EnKlik Anketa service, which is a great Slovenian product offering a wide array of options for the creation of surveys. We have created one such simple survey to use as a test. I am now inside EnKlik Anketa online service and I can see my survey has been successfully filled out.

Now I have to create a public link to my survey in order to access the data in Orange. I have to click on an icon in the top right part and select ‘Public link’.

A new window opens, where I select ‘Add new public link’. This will generate a public connection to my survey results. But be careful, the type of the connection needs to be Data, not Analysis! Orange can’t read already analyzed data, it needs raw data from Data pane.

Now, all I have to do is open Orange, place EnKlik Anketa widget from the Prototypes add-on onto the canvas, enter the public link into the ‘Public link URL’ fields and press Enter. If your data has loaded successfully, the widget will display available variables and information in the Info pane.

From here on you can continue your analysis just like you would with any other data source!

Spectroscopy Workshop at BioSpec and How to Merge Data

Last week Marko and I visited the land of the midnight sun – Norway! We held a two-day workshop on spectroscopy data analysis in Orange at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The students from BioSpec lab were yet again incredible and we really dug deep into Orange.

Related: Orange with Spectroscopy Add-on

A class full of dedicated scientists.


One thing we did was see how to join data from two different sources. It would often happen that you have measurements in one file and the labels in the other. Or in our case, we wanted to add images to our data. First, find the in the File widget under Browse documentation datasets. Observe the data in the Data Table.

Original zoo data set.


This data contains 101 animal described with 16 different features (hair, aquatic, eggs, etc.), a name and a type. Now we will manually create the second table in Excel. The first column will contain the names of the animals as they appear in the original file. The second column will contain links to images of animals. Open your favorite browser and find a couple of images corresponding to selected animals. Then add links to images below the image column. Just like that:

Extra data that we want to add to the original data.


Remember, you need a three-row header to define the column that contains images. Under the image column add string in the second and type=image in the third row. This will tell Orange where to look for images. Now, we can check our animals in Image Viewer.

A quick glance at an Image Viewer will tell us whether our images got loaded correctly.


Finally, it is time to bring in the images to the existing zoo data set. Connect the original File to Merge Data. Then add the second file with animal images to Merge Data. The default merging method will take the first data input as original data and the second data as extra data. The column to match by is defined in the widget. In our case, it is the name column. This means Orange will look at the first name column and find matching instances in the second name column.


A quick look at the merged data shows us an additional image column that we appended to the original file.

Merged data with a new column.


This is the final workflow. Merge Data now contains a single data table on the output and you can continue your analysis from there.

Find out more about spectroscopy for Orange on our YouTube channel or contribute to the project on Github.

Python Script: Managing Data on the Fly

Python Script is this mysterious widget most people don’t know how to use, even those versed in Python. Python Script is the widget that supplements Orange functionalities with (almost) everything that Python can offer. And it’s time we unveil some of its functionalities with a simple example.

Example: Batch Transform the Data

There might be a time when you need to apply a function to all your attributes. Say you wish to log-transform their values, as it is common in gene expression data. In theory, you could do this with Feature Constructor, where you would log-transform every attribute individually. Sounds laborious? It’s because it is. Why else we have computers if not to reduce manual labor for certain tasks? Let’s do it the fast way – with Python Script.

First, open File widget and load from Browse documentation data sets. This data set has 9485 features, so imagine having to transform each feature individually.

Instead, we will connect Python Script to File and use a simple script to apply the same transformation to all attributes.

import numpy as np
from import Table

new_X = np.log(in_data.X)
out_data = Table(in_data.domain, new_X, in_data.Y, in_data.metas)

This is really simple. Use in_data.X, which accesses all features in the data set, to transform the data with np.log (or any other numpy function). Set out_data to new_X and, voila, the transformed data is on the output. In a few lines we have instantly handled all 9485 features.

You can inspect the data before and after transformation in a Data Table widget.

Original data.
Log-transformed data.


This is it. Now we can do our standard analysis on the transformed data. Even better! We can save our script and use it in Python Script widget any time we want.

For your convenience I have already added the Log Attributes Script, so you can download and use it instantly!

Have a more interesting example with Python Script? We’d love to hear about it!

Data Mining Course at Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Janez and I have recently returned from a two-week stay in Moscow, Russian Federation, where we were teaching data mining to MA students of Applied Statistics. This is a new Master’s course that attracts the best students from different backgrounds and teaches them statistical methods for work in the industry.

It was a real pleasure working at HSE. The students were proactive by asking questions and really challenged us to do our best.

One of the things we did was compute minimum cost of misclassifications. The story goes like this. Sara is a doctor and has data on 303 patients with heart disease (Orange’s data set). She used some classifiers and now has to decide how many patients to send for further tests. Naive Bayes classifier, for example, returned probabilities of a patient being sick (column Naive Bayes 1). For each threshold in probabilites, she will compute how many false positives (patients declared sick when healthy) and how many false negatives (patients declared healthy when sick) a classifiers returns. Each mistake is associated with a cost. Now she wants to find out, how many patients to send for tests (what probability threshold to choose) so that her cost is the lowest.

First, import all the libraries we will need:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

from import Table
from Orange.classification import NaiveBayesLearner, TreeLearner
from Orange.evaluation import CrossValidation

Then load heart disease data (and print a sample).

heart = Table("heart_disease")

Now, train classifiers and select probabilities of Naive Bayes for a patient being sick.

scores = CrossValidation(heart, [NaiveBayesLearner(), TreeLearner()])

#take probabilites of class 1 (sick) of NaiveBayesLearner
p1 = scores.probabilities[0][:, 1]

#take actual class values
y = scores.actual

#cost of false positive (patient classified as sick when healthy)
fp_cost = 500

#cost of false negative (patient classified as healthy when sick)
fn_cost = 800

Set counts, where we declare 0 patients being sick (threshold >1).

fp = 0
#start with threshold above 1 (no one is sick)
fn = np.sum(y)

For each threshold, compute the cost associated with each type of mistake.

ps = []
costs = []

#compute costs of classifying i patients as sick
for i in np.argsort(p1)[::-1]:
    if y[i] == 0:
        fp += 1
        fn -= 1
    costs.append(fp * fp_cost + fn * fn_cost)

In the end, we get a list of probability thresholds and associated costs. Now let us find the minimum cost and its probability of a patient being sick.

costs = np.array(costs)
#find probability of a patient being sick at lowest cost

This means the threshold that minimizes our cost for a given classifier is 0.620655. Sara would send all the patients with a probability of being sick higher or equal than 0.620655  for further tests.

At the end, we can also plot the cost to patients sent curve.

fig, ax = plt.subplots()
plt.plot(ps, costs)
ax.set_xlabel('Patients sent')

You can download the IPython Notebook here: Minimum Cost.