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Projection Pursuit Dimension Reduction

Project description

Projection Pursuit Dimension Reduction

A scikit-learn compatible Python 3 package for Projection Pursuit Dimension Reduction. This class implements a very general framweork for projection pursuit, giving access to methods ranging from PP-PCA to CAPI generalized betas.


Projection pursuit (PP) provides a very general framework for dimension reduction and regression. The ppdire package provides a framework to calculate PP estimates based on a wide variety of projection indices.

While the package will also work with user-defined projection indices, a set of projection indices are included into the package as two ancillary classes:

  • dicomo for (co-)moment statistics
  • capi specifically for analyzing financial market returns based on a linear combination of co-moments [2]

When using the dicomo class as a plugin, several well-known multivariate dimension reduction techniques are accessible, as well as robust alternatives thereto. For more details, see the Example below.

The ppdire class allows for calculation of the projection pursuit optimization either through scipy.optimize or through the native grid[1] algorithm. Optimization through scipy.optimize is much more efficient, yet it will only provide correct results for classical projection indices. The native grid algorithm should be used when the projection index involves order statistics of any kind, such as ranks, trimming, winsorizing, or empirical quantiles.


  • all the methods contained in this package have been designed for continuous data. They do not work correctly for categorical or textual data.
  • this package focuses on projection pursuit dimension reduction. Regression methods that involve a dimension reduction step can be accessed through it (e.g. PCR, PLS, RCR, ...), yet the package does not provide an implementation for projection pursuit regression (PPR). To access PPR, we refer to the projection-pursuit package, also distributed through PIP.

The code is aligned to scikit-learn, such that modules such as GridSearchCV can flawlessly be applied to it.

The repository contains

  • The estimator (
  • A class to estimate co-moments (
  • A class for the co-moment analysis projection index (
  • Ancillary functions for projection pursuit (
  • Ancillary functions for co-moment estimation (


How to install

The package is distributed through PyPI, so install through:

    pip install ppdire

The ppdire class


  • From sklearn.base: BaseEstimator,TransformerMixin,RegressorMixin
  • From sklearn.utils: _BaseComposition
  • copy
  • scipy.stats
  • From scipy.linalg: pinv2
  • From scipy.optimize: minimize
  • numpy
  • From statsmodels.regression.quantile_regression: QuantReg
  • From sklearn.utils.extmath: svd_flip
  • From sprm: rm, robcent
  • From sprm._m_support_functions: MyException
  • warnings


  • projection_index, function or class. dicomo and capi supplied in this package can both be used, but user defined projection indices can be processed
  • pi_arguments, dict. Dict of arguments to be passed on to projection index
  • n_components, int. number of components to be estimated
  • trimming, float. trimming percentage for projection index, to be entered as pct/100
  • alpha, float. Continuum coefficient. Only relevant if ppdire is used to estimate (classical or robust) continuum regression.
  • optimizer: str. Presently: either 'grid' (native optimizer) or any of the options in scipy-optimize (e.g. 'SLSQP')
  • optimizer_options: dict with options to pass on to the optimizer. If optimizer == 'grid',
    • ndir: int: Number of directions to calculate per iteration.
    • maxiter: int. Maximal number of iterations.
  • optimizer_constraints: dict or list of dicts, further constraints to be passed on to the optimizer function.
  • regopt, str. Regression option for regression step y~T. Can be set to 'OLS' (default), 'robust' (will run sprm.rm) or 'quantile' (statsmodels.regression.quantreg).
  • center, str. How to center the data. options accepted are options from sprm.robcent
  • center_data, bool.
  • scale_data, bool. Note: if set to False, convergence to correct optimum is not a given. Will throw a warning.
  • whiten_data, bool. Typically used for ICA (kurtosis as PI)
  • square_pi, bool. Whether to square the projection index upon evaluation.
  • compression, bool. If True, an internal SVD compression step is used for flat data tables (p > n). Speds up the calculations.
  • copy, bool. Whether to make a deep copy of the input data or not.
  • verbose, bool. Set to True prints the iteration number.
  • return_scaling_object, bool. Note: several interesting parameters can also be passed to the fit method.


Attributes always provided

  • x_weights_: X block PPDIRE weighting vectors (usually denoted W)
  • x_loadings_: X block PPDIRE loading vectors (usually denoted P)
  • x_scores_: X block PPDIRE score vectors (usually denoted T)
  • x_ev_: X block explained variance per component
  • x_Rweights_: X block SIMPLS style weighting vectors (usually denoted R)
  • x_loc_: X block location estimate
  • x_sca_: X block scale estimate
  • crit_values_: vector of evaluated values for the optimization objective.
  • Maxobjf_: vector containing the optimized objective per component.

Attributes created when more than one block of data is provided:

  • C_: vector of inner relationship between response and latent variables block
  • coef_: vector of regression coefficients, if second data block provided
  • intercept_: intercept
  • coef_scaled_: vector of scaled regression coeeficients (when scaling option used)
  • intercept_scaled_: scaled intercept
  • residuals_: vector of regression residuals
  • y_ev_: y block explained variance
  • fitted_: fitted response
  • y_loc_: y location estimate
  • y_sca_: y scale estimate

Attributes created only when corresponding input flags are True:

  • whitening_: whitened data matrix (usually denoted K)
  • mixing_: mixing matrix estimate
  • scaling_object_: scaling object from sprm.robcent


  • fit(X, *args, **kwargs): fit model
  • predict(X): make predictions based on fit
  • transform(X): project X onto latent space
  • getattr(): get list of attributes
  • setattr(*kwargs): set individual attribute of sprm object

The fit function takes several optional input arguments. These are flags that typically would not need to be cross-validated. They are:

  • y, numpy vector or 1D matrix, either as arg directly or as kwarg
  • h, int. Overrides n_components for an individual call to fit. Use with caution.
  • dmetric, str. Distance metric used internally. Defaults to 'euclidean'
  • mixing, bool. Return mixing matrix?
  • Further parameters to the regression methods can be passed on here as additional kwargs.

Ancillary functions

  • dicomo (class): (co-)moments
  • capi (class): co-moment analysis projection index


Load and Prepare Data

To run a toy example:

  • Source packages and data:

      # Load data
      import pandas as ps
      import numpy as np
      data = ps.read_csv("./data/Returns_shares.csv")
      columns = data.columns[2:8]
      (n,p) = data.shape
      datav = np.matrix(data.values[:,2:8].astype('float64'))
      y = datav[:,0]
      X = datav[:,1:5]
      # Scale data
      from sprm import robcent
      centring = robcent()
      Xs =

Comparison of PP estimates to Scikit-Learn

Let us at first run ppdire to produce slow, approximate PP estimates of PCA and PLS. This makes it easy to verify that the algorithm is correct.

  • Projection Pursuit as a slow, approximate way to compute PCA. Compare:

      # PCA ex Scikit-Learn 
      import sklearn.decomposition as skd
      skpca = skd.PCA(n_components=4)
      skpca.components_.T # sklearn outputs loadings as rows ! 
      # PP-PCA through SLSQP
      from ppdire import dicomo, ppdire
      pppca = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'var'}, n_components=4, optimizer='SLSQP')
      # Grid PP-PCA  
      pppca = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'var'}, n_components=4, optimizer='grid',optimizer_options={'ndir':1000,'maxiter':1000})
  • Likewise, projection pursuit as a slow, approximate way to compute PLS. Compare:

      # PLS ex Scikit-Learn 
      import sklearn.cross_decomposition as skc
      skpls = skc.PLSRegression(n_components=4),(y-np.mean(y))/np.std(y))
      Xs*skpls.coef_*np.std(y) + np.mean(y) 
      # PP-PLS through SLSQP
      pppls = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'cov'}, n_components=4, square_pi=True, optimizer='SLSQP', optimizer_options={'maxiter':500}),y)
      pppls.coef_scaled_ # Column 4 should agree with skpls.coef_
      # Grid PP-PLS 
      pppls = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'cov'}, n_components=4, square_pi=True, optimizer='grid',optimizer_options={'ndir':1000,'maxiter':1000}),y)
      pppls.coef_scaled_ # Column 4 should agree with skpls.coef_

Remark: Dimension Reduction techniques based on projection onto latent variables, such as PCA, PLS and ICA, are sign indeterminate with respect to the components. Therefore, signs of estimates by different algorithms can be opposed, yet the absolute values should be identical up to algorithm precision. Here, this implies that sklearn and ppdire's x_scores_ and x_loadings can have opposed signs, yet the coefficients and fitted responses should be identical.

Robust projection pursuit estimators

  • Robust PCA based on the Median Absolute Deviation (MAD) [3].

      lcpca = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'var', 'center': 'median'}, n_components=4, optimizer='grid',optimizer_options={'ndir':1000,'maxiter':1000})
      # To extend to Robust PCR, just add y,y,ndir=1000,regopt='robust')
  • Robust Continuum Regression [4] based on trimmed (co)variance:

      rcr = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'continuum'}, n_components=4, trimming=.1, alpha=.5, optimizer='grid',optimizer_options={'ndir':1000,'maxiter':1000}),y=y,regopt='robust')

Remark: for RCR, the continuum parameter alpha tunes the result from multiple regression (alpha -> 0) via PLS (alpha = 1) to PCR (alpha -> Inf). Of course, the robust PLS option can also be accessed through pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'cov'}, trimming=.1.

Remark 2: for these robust options, please do not use SLSQP. The resuslts will be wrong.

Projection pursuit generalized betas

Generalized betas are obtained as the projection pursuit weights using the co-moment analysis projection index (CAPI) [2].

    from ppdire import capi 
    est = ppdire(projection_index = capi, pi_arguments = {'max_degree' : 3,'projection_index': dicomo, 'scaling': False}, n_components=1, trimming=0,center_data=True,scale_data=True),y=y,ndir=200)
    # These data aren't the greatest illustration. Evaluating CAPI 
    # projections, makes more sense if y is a market index, e.g. SPX 

Cross-validating through scikit-learn

    from sklearn.model_selection import GridSearchCV
    rcr_cv = GridSearchCV(ppdire(projection_index=dicomo, 
                                pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'continuum'
                                optimizer = 'grid',
                                optimizer_options = {'ndir':1000,'maxiter':1000}
                          param_grid={"n_components": [1, 2, 3], 
                                      "alpha": np.arange(.1,3,.3).tolist(),
                                      "trimming": [0, .15]

Data compression

While ppdire is very flexible and can project according to a very wide variety of projection indices, it can be computationally demanding. For flat data tables, a workaround has been built in.

    # Load flat data 
    datan = ps.read_csv("./data/Glass_df.csv")
    X = datan.values[:,100:300]
    y = datan.values[:,2]

    # Now compare
    rcr = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, 
                pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'continuum'}, 
                compression = False, 

    rcr = ppdire(projection_index = dicomo, 
                pi_arguments = {'mode' : 'continuum'}, 
                compression = True, 

However, compression will not work properly if the data contain several low scale varables. In this example, it will not work for X = datan.values[:,8:751]. This will throw a warning, and ppdire will continue without compression.

Calling the projection indices independently

Both dicomo and capi can be useful as a consistent framework to call moments themselves, or linear combinations of them. Let's extract univariate columns from the data:

    # Prepare univariate data
    x = datav[:,1]
    y = datav[:,2]

Now calculate some moments and compare them to numpy:

    # Variance 
    covest = dicomo() 
    # division by n,biascorr=False)
    # division by n-1,biascorr=True)
    # But we can also trim variance:,biascorr=False,trimming=.1)

    # MAD  
    import statsmodels.robust as srs

    # 4th Moment 
    import scipy.stats as sps
    # if center is still median, reset it
    # Again, we can trim:,order=4,trimming=.2)

    #Note that in scipy: bias = False corrects for bias,biascorr=True,Fisher=False)

Likewise: co-moments

    # Covariance 
    data.iloc[:,2:8].cov() #Pandas Calculates n-1 division,y=y,biascorr=True)

    # M4 (4th co-moment)

    # Co-kurtosis

These are just some options of the set that can be explored in dicomo.


  1. Robust Multivariate Methods: The Projection Pursuit Approach, Peter Filzmoser, Sven Serneels, Christophe Croux and Pierre J. Van Espen, in: From Data and Information Analysis to Knowledge Engineering, Spiliopoulou, M., Kruse, R., Borgelt, C., Nuernberger, A. and Gaul, W., eds., Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2006, pages 270--277.
  2. Projection pursuit based generalized betas accounting for higher order co-moment effects in financial market analysis, Sven Serneels, in: JSM Proceedings, Business and Economic Statistics Section. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association, 2019, 3009-3035.
  3. Robust principal components and dispersion matrices via projection pursuit, Chen, Z. and Li, G., Research Report, Department of Statistics, Harvard University, 1981.
  4. Robust Continuum Regression, Sven Serneels, Peter Filzmoser, Christophe Croux, Pierre J. Van Espen, Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 76 (2005), 197-204.

Work to do

  • optimize alignment to sklearn
  • integrate further with sprm plotting and preprocessing
  • make more flexible regarding data input types
  • optimize for speed
  • extend to multivariate responses (open research topic !)
  • suggestions always welcome

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