Predicting Diabetes with Keras

A Very Short Introduction to Hyperparameter Optimization with Talos

The goal of a Talos experiment, is to find a set of suitable hyperparameters for Keras model. In order to do this, you need to have three things:

  • Keras model
  • Talos hyperparameter dictionary
  • Talos experiment configuration

Below we will briefly overview each.

The Keras Model

As a model, any Keras model will do. Let's consider as an example a very simple model that makes a prediction on the classic Pima Indians Diabetes dataset. A brief overview of the dataset can be found here and the dataset we will use can be found here. The below model does not require you to separately download the file.

In [ ]:
from numpy import loadtxt

dataset = loadtxt("", delimiter=",")
x = dataset[:,0:8]
y = dataset[:, 8]
In [ ]:
from tensorflow.keras.models import Sequential
from tensorflow.keras.layers import Dense

def diabetes():
    model = Sequential()
    model.add(Dense(12, input_dim=8, activation='relu'))
    model.add(Dense(8, activation='relu'))
    model.add(Dense(1, activation='sigmoid'))
    model.compile(loss='binary_crossentropy', optimizer='adam', metrics=['accuracy']), Y, epochs=100, batch_size=10, verbose=0)
    return model

Talos Hyperparameter Dictionary

Let's prepare for an experiment where we will optimize against three common attributes:

  • neurons on the first layer
  • activations
  • batch_sizes
In [ ]:
from tensorflow.keras.activations import relu, elu

p = {
    'first_neuron': [12, 24, 48],
    'activation': ['relu', 'elu'],
    'batch_size': [10, 20, 30]

Configuring the Keras Model for Talos

In order to prepare a Keras model for a Talos experiment, we need to do four things:

  • add input parameters to the function
  • replace the hyperparameter inputs with references to params dictionary
  • make sure stores the history object
  • modify the output of the model

These steps are always the same.

In [ ]:
# add input parameters to the function
def diabetes(x_train, y_train, x_val, y_val, params):
    # replace the hyperparameter inputs with references to params dictionary 
    model = Sequential()
    model.add(Dense(params['first_neuron'], input_dim=8, activation=params['activation']))
    #model.add(Dense(8, activation=params['activation']))
    model.add(Dense(1, activation='sigmoid'))
    model.compile(loss='binary_crossentropy', optimizer='adam', metrics=['accuracy'])
    # make sure history object is returned by
    out =, 
                    validation_data=[x_val, y_val],
    # modify the output model
    return out, model

That's it, there is nothing more to it. A more complicated experiment would just entail more of the same in terms of the way the params dictionary references are made. Otherwise the changes would always be exactly the same.

Talos Experiment

The Talos experiment is performed through the Scan() command. In case you don't have Talos installed already, you can do that now.

In [ ]:
import talos

While many configurations are possible, the only things that you absolutely must input to a Talos experiment are:

  • x
  • y
  • params (the dictionary 'p' we created above)
  • model (the 'diabetes' we created above)
In [ ]:
t = talos.Scan(x=x, y=y, params=p, model=diabetes, experiment_name='diabetes')