# Category: PROBLEM SOLVING

## Building a classification pipeline with C++11, Cython and Scikit-Learn

We have earlier seen how using Cython increases the performance of Python code 50-60x, mostly due to static typing as compared to dynamic typing in pure Python. But we have also seen how one can wrap pure C++ classes and functions with Cython and export them as Python packages with improved speed. The codes we have dealt with so far using Cython were mostly generic modules like generating primes using […]

Problem Statement Solution: This is one of the problems asked frequently in coding interviews but has a relatively straighforward solution once one can get hold of the data-structures that he/she is going to implement. The idea is pretty simple, starting from 'beginWord', find out all possible words that are 1-distance away and also in the list of valid words. Repeat this step until we hit the 'endWord'. But since the […]

## LeetCode: Three Equal Parts

Problem Statement Solution: The problem can be approached in multiple different ways. One trivial approach is to find the decimal representation for all binary sequences [i, j], where j >= i. Once we find the decimal representations for all [i, j], we can then find the indices i' and j' such that the decimal representation [0, i'], [i'+1, j'-1] and [j', N-1] are equal where N is the length of […]

## LeetCode: Minimum Refuel Stops

Problem Statement Solution: At first, this looks like a classic graph traversal problem. For example, I might be tempted to use BFS approach to find the minimum number of steps to reach the target. But one important distinction this problem has from a standard BFS is that in a standard BFS problem, the car can either directly reach a station Y from station X or they cannot depending whether there […]

## Interfacing C++ with Cython

In the last post we saw how we can use Cython programming language to boost speed of Python programs. For a simple program like finding primes upto a certain N, we obtained a gain of around 50-60x with Cython as compared to a naive Python implementation. This is significant when we are going to deploy our codes in production. A complex system will have multiple such programs calling each other […]

## Speeding up with Cython

While I was working with the R programming language, I always somehow found it to be slow coming from a JAVA/C++ background. Then I discovered the "RCpp" package which allowed me to write C++ codes and call them from R. It greatly improved my program speed by an order of 50-100x. Most of the coding that I did was in C++ while the interface remained in R. Since I moved […]

## BiLSTM-CRF Sequence Tagging for E-Commerce Attribute Extraction

In the last post we had used Conditional Random Fields (CRF) to extract attributes from e-commerce product titles and description. CRFs are linear models just like Logistic Regression. The drawback with linear models is that they do not take feature-feature interaction or higher order feature terms into account while building model. Linear models can under-fit on the data while too much non-linearity can lead to over-fitting. Non-linear models such as Neural […]

## Attribute Extraction from E-Commerce Product Description

In this post we are going to look into how one can use product title and description on e-commerce websites to extract different attributes of the product. This is a very fundamental problem in e-commerce which has widespread implications for Product Search (search filters), Product Matching (matching same items from different sellers), Product Grouping (grouping items by variants such as size and color), Product Graph (relationship between products based on […]

## Factorization Machines for Movie Recommendations

In the last series of posts we have looked at how to recommend movies to users based on the historical ratings. The two most promising approaches were Collaborative Filtering and Matrix Factorization. Both these approaches learns the user-movie preferences only from the ratings matrix. Recall that in the first post of the series, we had started with an approach known as the Content Based Recommendation, where we created a regression […]

## Designing Movie Recommendation Engines - Part III

In the last two parts of this series, we have been looking at how to design and implement a movie recommendations engine using the MovieLens' 20 million ratings dataset. We have looked at some of the most common and standard techniques out there namely Content based recommendations, Collaborative Filtering and Latent Factor based Matrix Factorization strategy. Clearly CF and MF approaches emerged as the winners due to their accuracy and […]