Traits for specifying the orientation of features and observations in data
Author invenia
2 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
January 2020


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What are ObservationDims?

This package defines useful traits and methods for organising data into the format required by some API.

Organising data

Imagine we have some matrix of data that we want to pass to a model. The model may require that observations correspond to matrix rows, or perhaps that they correspond to matrix columns. Another model might treat the matrix itself as a single observation.

We want to make sure each model parses the data in the correct format. For this, we can use organise_obs to reorganise the data (when necessary) into the required ObsArrangement.

using ObservationDims

# treat whole matrix as one observation
organise_obs(SingleObs(), data)

# rearrange matrix such that observations are columns and rows are features
organise_obs(MatrixColsOfObs(), data)

By default, observations are assumed to belong to the first dimension (i.e. rows). This can be over-written using the obsdim keyword argument:

# rearrange into a vector of observations where observations are along the 2nd dimension (cols)
organise_obs(IteratorOfObs(), data; obsdim=2)

N-Dimensional data

The MatrixRowsOfObs and MatrixColsOfObs are special cases of the more general ArraySlicesOfObs{D} where D is the desired observation-dimension. (D=1 for MatrixRowsOfObs and D=2 for MatrixColsOfObs).

For example, if we have a 4-dimensional Array with the observations along the 1st dimension but we require them along the 4th dimension we can permute the 1st and 4th dimensions, e.g. (1, 2, 3, 4) -> (4, 2, 3, 1), as follows:

organise_obs(ArraySlicesOfObs{4}(), data; obsdim=1)

NamedDimsArrays and AxisArrays

When used with NamedDimsArrays and AxisArrays, the obsdim can also be a symbol.

For NamedDimsArrays, the default obsdim is selected from (:obs, :observations, :samples) in order of preference. For example, :obs will always be selected if present, else :observations will selected if present, else :samples will be selected. If none of these are present you will be required to explicitly provide the obsdim yourself. This does not apply to AxisArrays, which like AbstractArray in general, default to obsdim=1.

# no fields are named :obs, :observations, or :samples
organise_obs(MatrixRowsOfObs(), named_dims; obsdim=:time)


Tables.jl tables, such as DataFrames, are supported as an input. The observations for a table are always the rows, i.e. obsdim=1 (warning will be given if you specify otherwise). The table will be converted into a matrix or iterator of vectors as appropriate.

Method Traits

The key purpose of this package is to make all of this easier by specifying the ObsArrangement as a trait of the model. We do this using obs_arrangement to declare the expected ObsArrangement:

# model1 takes data with rows as observations
obs_arrangement(::typeof(model1)) = MatrixRowsOfObs

# model2 takes data as an iterator of observations
obs_arrangement(::typeof(model2)) = IteratorOfObs

Now organise_obs can take the model as an argument which will then dispatch on the trait and organise the data accordingly:

# rearranges data to use rows as observations
model1_data = organise_obs(model1, data)

# rearranges data as an iterator of observations
model2_data = organise_obs(model2, data)

Used By Packages

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