Book Image

Scientific Computing with Scala

By : Vytautas Jancauskas
Book Image

Scientific Computing with Scala

By: Vytautas Jancauskas

Overview of this book

Scala is a statically typed, Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-based language with strong support for functional programming. There exist libraries for Scala that cover a range of common scientific computing tasks – from linear algebra and numerical algorithms to convenient and safe parallelization to powerful plotting facilities. Learning to use these to perform common scientific tasks will allow you to write programs that are both fast and easy to write and maintain. We will start by discussing the advantages of using Scala over other scientific computing platforms. You will discover Scala packages that provide the functionality you have come to expect when writing scientific software. We will explore using Scala's Breeze library for linear algebra, optimization, and signal processing. We will then proceed to the Saddle library for data analysis. If you have experience in R or with Python's popular pandas library you will learn how to translate those skills to Saddle. If you are new to data analysis, you will learn basic concepts of Saddle as well. Well will explore the numerical computing environment called ScalaLab. It comes bundled with a lot of scientific software readily available. We will use it for interactive computing, data analysis, and visualization. In the following chapters, we will explore using Scala's powerful parallel collections for safe and convenient parallel programming. Topics such as the Akka concurrency framework will be covered. Finally, you will learn about multivariate data visualization and how to produce professional-looking plots in Scala easily. After reading the book, you should have more than enough information on how to start using Scala as your scientific computing platform
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Scientific Computing with Scala
About the Author
About the Reviewer

Chapter 4. Using Saddle for Data Analysis

Saddle is a library for manipulating structured data. It is written in Scala and the authors claim that it is "the easiest and most expressive way to program with structured data on the JVM." It draws inspiration from and replicates a lot of the functionality of R and pandas Python library. It also occupies a similar niche in scientific computing as those two systems. In addition, it provides access to similar data structures to NumPy and Breeze (to represent matrices and vectors), that is you can use it to write numerical computing code as well.

While it can be used for various things, it is mostly used for data analysis, namely, for analyzing data arranged into a two-dimensional table with named columns and indexed rows. This type of structured data is probably familiar to you if you have ever done any kind of work in pattern recognition, data mining, and many other disciplines. Or, for that matter, if you have ever used spreadsheet software or...