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SkData: Data Sets and Algorithm Evaluation Protocols in Python

James Bergstra
University of Waterloo

Nicolas Pinto
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David D. Cox
Harvard University


Machine learning benchmark data sets come in all shapes and sizes, whereas classification algorithms assume sanitized input, such as (x, y) pairs with vector-valued input x and integer class label y. Researchers and practitioners know all too well how tedious it can be to get from the URL of a new data set to a NumPy ndarray suitable for e.g. pandas or sklearn. The SkData library handles that work for a growing number of benchmark data sets (small and large) so that one-off in-house scripts for downloading and parsing data sets can be replaced with library code that is reliable, community-tested, and documented. The SkData library also introduces an open-ended formalization of training and testing protocols that facilitates direct comparison with published research. This paper describes the usage and architecture of the SkData library.


machine learning, cross validation, reproducibility

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