Book Image

TensorFlow: Powerful Predictive Analytics with TensorFlow

By : Md. Rezaul Karim
Book Image

TensorFlow: Powerful Predictive Analytics with TensorFlow

By: Md. Rezaul Karim

Overview of this book

Predictive analytics discovers hidden patterns from structured and unstructured data for automated decision making in business intelligence. Predictive decisions are becoming a huge trend worldwide, catering to wide industry sectors by predicting which decisions are more likely to give maximum results. TensorFlow, Google’s brainchild, is immensely popular and extensively used for predictive analysis. This book is a quick learning guide on all the three types of machine learning, that is, supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning with TensorFlow. This book will teach you predictive analytics for high-dimensional and sequence data. In particular, you will learn the linear regression model for regression analysis. You will also learn how to use regression for predicting continuous values. You will learn supervised learning algorithms for predictive analytics. You will explore unsupervised learning and clustering using K-meansYou will then learn how to predict neighborhoods using K-means, and then, see another example of clustering audio clips based on their audio features. This book is ideal for developers, data analysts, machine learning practitioners, and deep learning enthusiasts who want to build powerful, robust, and accurate predictive models with the power of TensorFlow. This book is embedded with useful assessments that will help you revise the concepts you have learned in this book. This book is repurposed for this specific learning experience from material from Packt's Predictive Analytics with TensorFlow by Md. Rezaul Karim.
Table of Contents (8 chapters)
TensorFlow: Powerful Predictive Analytics with TensorFlow

Installing and Configuring TensorFlow

You can install and use TensorFlow on a number of platforms such as Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Moreover, you can also build and install TensorFlow from the latest GitHub source of TensorFlow. Furthermore, if you have a Windows machine, you can install TensorFlow via native pip or Anacondas. It is to be noted that TensorFlow supports Python 3.5.x and 3.6.x on Windows.

Also, Python 3 comes with the pip3 package manager, which is the program you'll use to install TensorFlow. So you don't need to install pip if you're using this Python version. For simplicity, in this section, I will show you how to install TensorFlow using native pip. Now to install TensorFlow, start a terminal. Then issue the appropriate pip3 installcommand in that terminal.

To install the CPU-only version of TensorFlow, enter the following command:

C:\> pip3 install --upgrade tensorflow

To install the GPU version of TensorFlow, enter the following command:

C:\> pip3 install --upgrade tensorflow-gpu

When it comes to Linux, the TensorFlow Python API supports Python 2.7 and Python 3.3+, so you need to install Python to start the TensorFlow installation. You must install Cuda Toolkit 7.5 and cuDNN v5.1+ to get the GPU support. In this section, we will show you how to install and get started with TensorFlow. More details on installing TensorFlow on Linux will be shown.


Installing on Mac OS is more or less similar to Linux. Please refer to the for more details. On the other hand, Windows users should refer to

Note that for this and the rest of the lesson, we will provide most of the source codes with Python 3.x compatible.

Installing TensorFlow on Linux

In this section, we will show you how to install TensorFlow on Ubuntu 14.04 or higher. The instructions presented here also might be applicable for other Linux distributions with minimal adjustments.

However, before proceeding with formal steps, we need to determine which TensorFlow to install on your platform. TensorFlow has been developed such that you can run data intensive tensor applications on a GPU as well as a CPU. Thus, you should choose one of the following types of TensorFlow to install on your platform:

  • TensorFlow with CPU support only: If there is no GPU such as NVIDIA® installed on your machine, you must install and start computing using this version. This is very easy and you can do it in just 5 to 10 minutes.

  • TensorFlow with GPU support: As you might know, a deep learning application requires typically very high intensive computing resources. Thus TensorFlow is no exception, but can typically speed up the data computation and analytics significantly faster on a GPU rather than on a CPU. Therefore, if there's NVIDIA® GPU hardware on your machine, you should ultimately install and use this version.

From our experience, even if you have NVIDIA GPU hardware integrated on your machine, it would be worth installing and trying the CPU-only version first and if you don't experience good performance you should switch for GPU support then.

The GPU-enabled version of TensorFlow has several requirements such as 64-bit Linux, Python 2.7 (or 3.3+ for Python 3), NVIDIA CUDA® 7.5 or higher (CUDA 8.0 required for Pascal GPUs), and NVIDIA cuDNN v4.0 (minimum) or v5.1 (recommended). More specifically, the current development of TensorFlow supports only GPU computing using NVIDIA toolkits and software. Therefore, the following software must have to be installed on your Linux machine to get the GPU support on your predictive analytics applications:.

  • Python

  • NVIDIA Driver

  • CUDA with compute capability >= 3.0

  • CudNN

  • TensorFlow

Installing Python and nVidia Driver

We have already seen how to install Python on a different platform, so we can skip this one. Also, I'm assuming that your machine already has a NVIDIA GPU installed.

To find out if your GPU is really installed properly and working, issue the following command on the terminal:

$ lspci -nnk | grep -i nvidia
# Expected output (of course may vary for your case): 4b:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation Device [10de:1b80] (rev a1)4b:00.1 Audio device [0403]: NVIDIA Corporation Device [10de:10f0] (rev a1)

Since predictive analytics largely depend on machine learning and deep learning algorithms, make sure you check that some essential packages are installed on your machine such as GCC and some of the scientific Python packages.

Simply issue the following command for doing so on the terminal:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libglu1-mesa libxi-dev libxmu-dev -y
$ sudo apt-get — yes install build-essential
$ sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev -y
$ sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy –y

Now download the NVIDIA driver (don't forget to choose the right version for your machine) via wget and run the script in silent mode:

$ wget
$ sudo chmod +x
$ ./ --silent


Some GPU cards such as NVidia GTX 1080 comes with the built in–driver. Thus, if your machine has a different GPU other than the GTX 1080, you have to download the driver for that GPU.

To make sure if the driver was installed correctly, issue the following command on the terminal:

$ nvidia-smi

The outcome of the command should be as follows:

Figure 4: Outcome of the nvidia-smi command

Installing NVIDIA CUDA

To use TensorFlow with NVIDIA GPUs, CUDA® Toolkit 8.0, and associated NVIDIA drivers with CUDA toolkit 8+ are required to be installed. The CUDA toolkit includes:

  • GPU-accelerated libraries such as cuFFT for Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT)

  • cuBLAS for Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines (BLAS)

  • cuSPARSE for sparse matrix routines

  • cuSOLVER for dense and sparse direct solvers

  • cuRAND for random number generation, NPP for image, and video processing primitives

  • nvGRAPH for NVIDIA Graph Analytics Library

  • Thrust for template parallel algorithms and data structures and a dedicated CUDA math library

For Linux, download and install required packages: using the wget command on Ubuntu as follows:

$ wget
$ sudo chmod +x
$ ./ --driver --silent
$ ./ --toolkit --silent
$ ./ --samples –silent

Also, ensure that you have added the CUDA installation path to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable as follows:

$ echo 'export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/cuda/lib64:/usr/local/cuda/extras/CUPTI/lib64"' >> ~/.bashrc
$ echo 'export CUDA_HOME=/usr/local/cuda' >> ~/.bashrc
$ source ~/.bashrc

Installing NVIDIA cuDNN v5.1+

Once the CUDA Toolkit is installed, you should download the cuDNN v5.1 library from for Linux and once downloaded, uncompress the files and copy them into the CUDA Toolkit directory (assumed here to be in /usr/local/cuda/):

$ cd /usr/local
$sudo mkdir cuda
$ cd ~/Downloads/
$ wget 
$ sudo tar –xvzf cudnn-8.0-linux-x64-v6.0.tgz
$ cp cuda/lib64/* /usr/local/cuda/lib64/
$ cp cuda/include/cudnn.h /usr/local/cuda/include/

Note that to install the cuDNN v5.1 library, you must need to register for the Accelerated Computing Developer Program at Now when you have installed the cuDNN v5.1 library, ensure that you create the CUDA_HOME environment variable.

Installing the libcupti-dev Library

Lastly, you need to have the libcupti-dev library installed on your machine. This is the NVIDIA CUDA that provides advanced profiling support. To install this library, issue the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install libcupti-dev

Installing TensorFlow

Refer to the following section for more step-by-step guidelines on how to install the latest version of TensorFlow for the CPU only and GPU supports with NVIDIA cuDNN and CUDA computing capability. You can install TensorFlow on your machine in a number of ways, such as using virtualenv, pip, Docker, and Anaconda. However, using Docker and Anaconda is a bit advanced and this is why we have decided to use pip and virtualenv instead.


Interested readers can try using Docker and Anaconda from

Installing TensorFlow with native pip

If steps 1 to 6 are completed, install TensorFlow by invoking one of the following commands. For Python 2.7 and, of course, with only CPU support:

$ pip install tensorflow
# For Python 3.x and of course with only CPU support:
$ pip3 install tensorflow 
# For Python 2.7 and of course with GPU support:
$ pip install tensorflow-gpu
# For Python 3.x and of course with GPU support: 
$ pip3 install tensorflow-gpu

If step 3 failed somehow, install the latest version of TensorFlow by issuing a command manually:

$ sudo pip install --upgrade TF_PYTHON_URL
#For Python 3.x, use the following command: 
$ sudo pip3 install --upgrade TF_PYTHON_URL  

For both cases, TF_PYTHON_URL signifies the URL of the TensorFlow Python package presented at

For example, to install the latest version with CPU-only support (at the time of writing v1.1.0), use the following command:

$ sudo pip3 install --upgrade
Installing with virtualenv

We assume that you already have Python 2+ (or 3+) and pip (or pip3) installed on your system. If so, follow these steps to install TensorFlow:

  1. Create a virtualenv environment as follows:

    $ virtualenv --system-site-packages targetDirectory

    The targetDirectory signifies the root of the virtualenv tree. By default, it is ~/tensorflow (however, you may choose any directory).

  2. Activate virtualenv environment as follows:

    $ source ~/tensorflow/bin/activate # bash, sh, ksh, or zsh
       $ source ~/tensorflow/bin/activate.csh  # csh or tcsh

    If the command succeeds in step 2, then you should see the following on your terminal:

  3. Installing TensorFlow.

    Follow one of the following commands to install TensorFlow in the active virtualenv environment. For Python 2.7 with CPU-only support, use the following command:

     (tensorflow)$ pip install --upgrade tensorflow 
    #For Python 3.x with CPU support, use the following command:    
    (tensorflow)$ pip3 install --upgrade tensorflow    
    #For Python 2.7 with GPU support, use the following command:
    (tensorflow)$ pip install --upgrade tensorflow-gpu
    #For Python 3.x with GPU support, use the following command:    
     (tensorflow)$ pip3 install --upgrade tensorflow-gpu

    If the preceding command succeeds, skip step 5. If the preceding command fails, perform step 5. Moreover, if step 3 failed somehow, try to install TensorFlow in the active virtualenv environment by issuing a command of the following format:

    #For python 2.7 (select appropriate URL with CPU or GPU support):
    (tensorflow)$ pip install --upgrade TF_PYTHON_URL 
    #For python 3.x (select appropriate URL with CPU or GPU support):
      (tensorflow)$ pip3 install --upgrade TF_PYTHON_URL
  4. Validate the installation.

    To validate the installation in step 3, you must activate the virtual environment. If the virtualenv environment is not currently active, issue one of the following commands:

    $ source ~/tensorflow/bin/activate  # bash, sh, ksh, or zsh
    $ source ~/tensorflow/bin/activate.csh  # csh or tcsh
  5. Uninstalling TensorFlow

    To uninstall TensorFlow, simply remove the tree you created. For example:

    $ rm -r targetDirectory

    Finally, if you want to control which devices are visible to TensorFlow manually, you should set the CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES. For example, the following command can be used to force the use of only GPU 0:


Installing TensorFlow from Source

The pip installation can cause problems using TensorBoard (this will be discussed later in this lesson). For this reason, I suggest you build TensorFlow directly from the source. The steps are described as follows.


Follow the instructions and guidelines on how to install Bazel on your platform at

At first, clone the entire TensorFlow repository as follows:

$git clone --recurse-submodules

Then it's time to install Bazel, which is a tool that automates software builds and tests. Also, for building TensorFlow from source, Bazel build system must be installed on your machine. For this, issue the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common swig
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
$ echo "deb stable jdk1.8" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bazel.list
$ curl | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install bazel

Then run the Bazel installer by issuing the following command:

$ chmod +x
$ ./ –-user

Moreover, you might need some Python dependencies such as python-numpy, swig, and python-dev. Now, issue the following command for doing so:

$ sudo apt-get install python-numpy swig python-dev

Now it's time to configure the installation (GPU or CPU). Let's do it by executing the following command:

$ ./configure

Then create your TensorFlow package using bazel:

$ bazel build -c opt //tensorflow/tools/pip_package:
$ build_pip_package

However, to build with the GPU support, issue the following command:

$ bazel build -c opt --config=cuda //tensorflow/tools/pip_package:build_pip_package

Finally, install TensorFlow. Here I have listed, as per the Python version:

  • For Python 2.7:

    $ sudo pip install --upgrade /tmp/tensorflow_pkg/tensorflow-1.1.0-*.whl
  • For Python 3.4:

    $ sudo pip3 install --upgrade /tmp/tensorflow_pkg/tensorflow-1.1.0-*.whl

Testing Your TensorFlow Installation

We start with the popular TensorFlow alias tf. Open a Python terminal (just type python or python3 on terminal) and issue the following lines of code:

>>> import tensorflow as tf

If your favourite Python interpreter doesn't complain, then you're ready to start using TensorFlow!

>>> hello = tf.constant("Hello, TensorFlow!")
>>> sess=tf.Session()

Now to verify your installation just type the following:

>>> print

If the installation is OK, you'll see the following output:

Hello, TensorFlow!