There are many preprocessors in scikit-lego and in this document we would like to highlight a few such that you might be inspired to use pipelines a little bit more flexibly.

Estimators as Transformers

Sometimes you’d like the output of a model to be available as a feature that you might use as input for another model. The issue here is that scikit learn pipelines usually only allow a single model at the end of a pipeline. One solution to this problem is to turn the model into a transformer. To convert a model to become a transformer you can use the EstimatorTransformer from the meta module.

Example 1

Let’s demonstrate one example. Below we describe how to create a pipeline with two models that each see the same dataset. Note that the output of this pipeline is still only a transformer pipeline.


import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

from sklearn.pipeline import FeatureUnion, Pipeline
from sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegression, Ridge

from sklego.meta import EstimatorTransformer
from sklego.preprocessing import ColumnSelector

n = 1000
X = np.random.uniform(0, 1, (n, 2))
y = X.sum(axis=1) + np.random.uniform(0, 1, (n,))
df = pd.DataFrame({"x1": X[:, 0], "x2": X[:, 1], "y": y})

pipeline = Pipeline([
    ("grab_columns", ColumnSelector(["x1", "x2"])),
    ("ml_features", FeatureUnion([
        ("model_1",  EstimatorTransformer(LinearRegression())),
        ("model_2",  EstimatorTransformer(Ridge()))
]), y).transform(df)
array([[1.84239085, 1.8381264 ],
       [1.84487058, 1.84095898],
       [0.78867225, 0.79690879],
       [1.92562838, 1.92076151],
       [1.52504886, 1.52524312],
       [0.81791076, 0.82568794]])

Example 2

Here’s another example that works a little bit differently. Here we have two models that each see different data.


pipeline = Pipeline([
    ("grab_columns", ColumnSelector(["x1", "x2"])),
    ("ml_features", FeatureUnion([
        ("p1", Pipeline([
            ("grab1", ColumnSelector(["x1"])),
            ("mod1", EstimatorTransformer(LinearRegression()))
        ("p2", Pipeline([
            ("grab2", ColumnSelector(["x2"])),
            ("mod2", EstimatorTransformer(LinearRegression()))
]), y).transform(df)
array([[1.3810049 , 1.96265338],
       [1.75182446, 1.5942067 ],
       [1.15431258, 1.13093337],
       [1.7719303 , 1.65521752],
       [1.98484405, 1.03984466],
       [1.05164825, 1.26300114]])

Column Capping

Some models are great at interpolation but less good at extrapolation. One way to potentially circumvent this problem is by capping extreme valeus that occur in the dataset X.


To see how they work we demonstrate a few examples below.

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
from sklego.preprocessing import ColumnCapper

X = np.random.uniform(0, 1, (100000, 2))

cc = ColumnCapper()
output =
print(f"min capped at  5th quantile: {output.min(axis=0)}")
print(f"max capped at 95th quantile: {output.max(axis=0)}")

cc = ColumnCapper(quantile_range=(10, 90))
output =
print(f"min capped at 10th quantile: {output.min(axis=0)}")
print(f"max capped at 90th quantile: {output.max(axis=0)}")
min capped at  5th quantile: [0.05120598 0.0502972 ]
max capped at 95th quantile: [0.94966328 0.94964339]
min capped at 10th quantile: [0.10029693 0.09934085]
max capped at 90th quantile: [0.90020412 0.89859006]

Note that the column capper does not deal with missing values but it does support pandas dataframes as well as infinite values.

arr = np.array([[0.0, np.inf],
                [-np.inf, 1.0]])
array([[0.10029693, 0.89859006],
       [0.10029693, 0.89859006]])

Patsy Formulas

If you’re used to the statistical programming language R you might have seen a formula object before. This is an object that represents a shorthand way to design variables used in a statistical model. The python project patsy took this idea and made it available for python. From sklego we’ve made a wrapper such that you can also use these in your pipelines.

import pandas as pd
from sklego.preprocessing import PatsyTransformer

df = pd.DataFrame({"a": [1, 2, 3, 4, 5],
                   "b": ["yes", "yes", "no", "maybe", "yes"],
                   "y": [2, 2, 4, 4, 6]})
X, y = df[["a", "b"]], df[["y"]].values
pt = PatsyTransformer("a + np.log(a) + b"), y).transform(X)
DesignMatrix with shape (5, 5)
  Intercept  b[]  b[T.yes]  a  np.log(a)
          1        0         1  1    0.00000
          1        0         1  2    0.69315
          1        1         0  3    1.09861
          1        0         0  4    1.38629
          1        0         1  5    1.60944
    'Intercept' (column 0)
    'b' (columns 1:3)
    'a' (column 3)
    'np.log(a)' (column 4)

You might notice that the first column contains the constant array equal to one. You might also expect 3 dummy variable columns instead of 2. This is because the design matrix from patsy attempts to keep the columns in the matrix linearly independant of eachother.

If this is not something you’d want to create you can choose to omit it by indicating “-1” in the formula.

pt = PatsyTransformer("a + np.log(a) + b - 1"), y).transform(X)
DesignMatrix with shape (5, 5)
  b[maybe]  b[no]  b[yes]  a  np.log(a)
         0      0       1  1    0.00000
         0      0       1  2    0.69315
         0      1       0  3    1.09861
         1      0       0  4    1.38629
         0      0       1  5    1.60944
    'b' (columns 0:3)
    'a' (column 3)
    'np.log(a)' (column 4)

You’ll notice that now the constant array is gone and it is replaced with a dummy array. Again this is now possible because patsy wants to guarantee that each column in this matrix is linearly independant of eachother.

The formula syntax is pretty powerful, if you’d like to learn we refer you to formulas documentation.

Repeating Basis Function Transformer

Some variables are of a circular nature. For example, the days of the year, 1-Jan-2019 (day 1) is just as close to 2-Jan-2019 (day 2) as it is to 31-Dec-2018 (day 365). If you would encode day of year numerically you would lose this information, as 1 close 2 to but far from 365. The repeating basis function transformer can remedy this problem.

The transformer selects a column and transforms it with a given number of repeating (radial) basis functions, which have a bell curve shape. The basis functions are equally spaced over the input range. The key feature of repeating basis funtions is that they are continuous when moving from the max to the min of the input range. As a result these repeating basis functions can capture how close each datapoint is to the center of each repeating basis function, even when the input data has a circular nature.


Let’s make some random data to start with. We have input data day, day_of_year and target y.

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline

# generate features
X = pd.DataFrame()
X['day'] = np.arange(4*365)
X['day_of_year'] = 1 + X['day'] % 365

# generate target
signal1 = 4 + 3*np.sin(X['day']/365*2*np.pi)
signal2 = 4 * np.sin(X['day']/365*4*np.pi+365/2)
noise = np.random.normal(0, 0.9, len(X['day']))
y = signal1 + signal2 + noise

# plot
fig = plt.figure(figsize=(17,3))
ax = fig.add_subplot(111)

Let’s create repeating basis functions based on day_of_year

from sklego.preprocessing import RepeatingBasisFunction

rbf = RepeatingBasisFunction(n_periods=N_PERIODS,
Xt = rbf.transform(X)

Now let’s plot our transformed features

fig, axes = plt.subplots(nrows=Xt.shape[1], figsize=(17,12))
for i in range(Xt.shape[1]):
    axes[i].plot(X['day'], Xt[:,i])

The day_of_year feature has been replaced with N_PERIODS repeating basis functions. These are bell curves that are equidistant over the 1-365 range. Each curve captures the information of “being close to” a particular day_of_year. For example, the curve in the top row captures how close a day is to new year’s day. It peaks on day 1 with a value of 1 and smoothly drops at an equal rate in December and in the rest of January.

Note, how the day feature still exists, in the transformed feature set as a result of the remainder='passthrough' setting. The default setting remainder='drop' will only keep the repeating basis functions and drop all columns of the original dataset.