Towards Better Keras Modeling – Part IV

Articles From: The Alpha Scientist
Website: The Alpha Scientist

See the previous installment in this series for Setup and Download.

TL;DR: essentially a talos workflow involves (1) creating a dict of parameter values to evaluate, (2) defining your keras model within a build_model as you may already do, but with a few small modifications in format, and (3) running a “Scan” method.

Warning: the below code could take 60 minutes+ to execute. It took me about 80 minutes on a Tesla K80 GPU. If you want to replicate results and are concerned about compute time, speed things up by:

  1. reducing/changing parameter values – especially epoch and batch_size
  2. setting the grid_downsample value to something less than 1.00 which runs a random subset of possible combinations, or
  3. Adjusting the early_stopper settings (namely reducing the patience metric to cause the training to stop more quickly after low-water-mark is reached)

#from keras import models
#from keras import layers

from keras.models import Sequential
from keras.layers import Dropout, Dense
from keras.callbacks import TensorBoard
from talos.model.early_stopper import early_stopper

# track performance on tensorboard
tensorboard = TensorBoard(log_dir=’./logs’,

# (1) Define dict of parameters to try
p = {‘first_neuron’:[10, 40, 160, 640, 1280],
‘hidden_neuron’:[10, 40, 160],
‘batch_size’: [1000,5000,10000],
‘optimizer’: [‘adam’],
‘kernel_initializer’: [‘uniform’], #’normal’
‘epochs’: [50],
‘dropout’: [0.0,0.25,0.5],
‘last_activation’: [‘sigmoid’]}

# (2) create a function which constructs a compiled keras model object
def numerai_model(x_train, y_train, x_val, y_val, params):

model = Sequential()

## initial layer
model.add(Dense(params[‘first_neuron’], input_dim=x_train.shape[1],
kernel_initializer = params[‘kernel_initializer’] ))

## hidden layers
for i in range(params[‘hidden_layers’]):
print (f”adding layer {i+1}”)
model.add(Dense(params[‘hidden_neuron’], activation=’relu’,

## final layer
model.add(Dense(1, activation=params[‘last_activation’],


history =, y_train,
validation_data=[x_val, y_val],
callbacks=[tensorboard,early_stopper(params[‘epochs’], patience=10)], #,,
return history, model

# (3) Run a “Scan” using the params and function created above

t = ta.Scan(x=X_train.values,

Done! We now have results from 270 unique network configuration. Talos automatically saves them to a file named [dataset_name]_[experiment_no].csv which we can refer to offline. Hint: if you re-run, make sure to increment the experiment_no so you don’t overwrite past results.

Visit The Alpha Scientist blog to download the complete code:

The Alpha Scientist blog – Chad is a full-time quantitative trader who has been working on data analytics since before it was cool. He has long balanced his interest in computer science (MS in EE/CS from MIT) with a fascination in markets (CFA designation in 2009). Prior to becoming a full-time quant, he built analytics products and managed teams at software companies across Silicon Valley. If you’ve found this post useful, please follow @data2alpha on Twitter and forward to a friend or colleague who may also find this topic interesting.

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