Project details for Tapkee

Logo Tapkee 0.1

by blackburn - January 31, 2012, 20:34:50 CET [ Project Homepage BibTeX Download ]

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Tapkee: an efficient dimension reduction library

Tapkee is a C++ template library for dimensionality reduction with some bias on spectral methods. The Tapkee origins from the code developed during GSoC 2011 as the part of the Shogun machine learning toolbox. The project aim is to provide efficient and flexible standalone library for dimensionality reduction which can be easily integrated to existing codebases. Tapkee leverages capabilities of effective Eigen3 linear algebra library and optionally makes use of the ARPACK eigensolver. To achieve great flexibility we provide a callback interface which decouples dimension reduction algorithms from the data representation and storage schemes (see Callback interface section).

Contributions are very encouraged as we distribute our software under permissive BSD 3-clause license (except some parts that are distributed under other open sources licenses, see Licensing section of this document).

To achieve code quality we employ googletest as a testing framework (tests can be found here), valgrind for dynamic analysis and clang static analyzer as a tool for static code analysis.

We are happy to use Travis as a continuous integration platform. The build status is:

Build Status

Callback interface

To achieve greater flexibility, the library decouples algorithms from data representation. To let user choose how to handle his data we provide callback interface essentially based on three functions: kernel function (similarity), distance function (dissimilarity) and dense feature vector access function. It is worth to notice that most of methods use either kernel or distance while all linear (projective) methods require access to feature vector. Full set of callbacks (all three callbacks) makes possible to use all implemented methods.

Callback interface enables user to reach great flexibility: ability to set up some caching strategy, lazy initialization of resources and various more. As an example we provide simple callback set for dense feature matrices out-of-the-box. If you are able to precompute kernel and distance matrices you may find precomputed callbacks useful.

It is required to identify your callback functors using the following macroses:



Out-of-the-box callbacks are already 'identified'.

Integration with other libraries

The main entry point of Tapkee is embed method (see the documentation for more details).

If your library includes Eigen3 at some point - let the Tapkee know about that with the following define:

#define TAPKEE_EIGEN_INCLUDE_FILE <path/to/your/eigen/include/file.h>

Please note that if you don't use Eigen3 in your project there is no need to define that variable, Eigen3 will be included by Tapkee in this case.

If you are able to use less restrictive licenses (such as GPLv3 and LGPLv3) you could define the following variables:

  • TAPKEE_USE_LGPL_COVERTREE to use Covertree code by John Langford.
  • TAPKEE_USE_GPL_TSNE to use Barnes-Hut-SNE code by Laurens van der Maaten.

When compiling your software that includes Tapkee be sure Eigen3 headers are in include path and your code is linked against ARPACK library (-larpack key for g++ and clang++).

For an example of integration you may check Tapkee adapter in Shogun.

We welcome any integration so please contact authors if you have got any questions. If you have successfully used the library please also let authors know about that - mentions of any applications are very appreciated.


Tapkee is supposed to be highly customizable with preprocessor definitions.

If you want to use float as numeric type (default is double) you may do that with definition of #define TAPKEE_CUSTOM_NUMTYPE float before including defines header.

If you use some non-standard STL-compatible realization of vector, map and pair you may redefine them with TAPKEE_INTERNAL_VECTOR, TAPKEE_INTERNAL_PAIR, TAPKEE_INTERNAL_MAP (they are set to std::vector, std::pair and std::map by default).

Other properties can be loaded from some provided header file using #define TAPKEE_CUSTOM_PROPERTIES. Currently such file should define the variable COVERTREE_BASE which is base of the CoverTree to be used (default is 1.3).


Tapkee comes with a sample application which can be used to construct low-dimensional representations of feature matrices. For more information on its usage please run:

./tapkee -h

To compile the application please use CMake. The workflow of compilation Tapkee with CMake is usual. When using Unix-based systems you may use the following command to compile the Tapkee application:

mkdir build && cd build && cmake [definitions] .. && make

There are a few cases when you'd want to put some definitions:

  • To enable unit-tests compilation add to -DBUILD_TESTS=1 to [definitions] when building. Please note that building unit-tests require googletest. The simplest way to make it available before building is
    wget && unzip -q && cd gtest-1.6.0 && cmake . && make && cd .. && rm To run tests use make test command or its equivalent.

  • To enable precomputation of kernel/distance matrices which can speed-up algorithms (but requires much more memory) add
    -DPRECOMPUTED=1 to [definitions] when building.

  • To build application without parts licensed by GPLv3 and LGPLv3 use -DGPL_FREE=1 definition.

The compilation requires Eigen3 to be available in your path. The ARPACK library is also highly recommended. On Ubuntu Linux these packages can be installed with

sudo apt-get install libeigen3-dev libarpack2-dev

If you are using Mac OS X and Macports you can install these packages with

sudo port install eigen3 && sudo port install arpack

In case you want to use some non-default compiler use CC=your-C-compiler CXX=your-C++-compiler cmake when running cmake.

Need help?

If you need any help or advice don't hesitate to send an email or fire an issue at github.

Supported platforms

Tapkee is tested to be fully functional on Linux (ICC, GCC, Clang compilers) and Mac OS X (GCC and Clang compilers). It also compiles under Windows (MSVS 2012 compiler) but wasn't properly tested yet. In general, Tapkee uses no platform specific code and should work on other systems as well. Please let us know if you have successfully compiled or have got issues on any other system not listed above.

Supported dimension reduction methods

Tapkee provides implementations of the following dimension reduction methods (urls to descriptions provided):


The library is distributed under the BSD 3-clause license.

Exceptions are:

Changes to previous version:

Initial Announcement on

BibTeX Entry: Download
Supported Operating Systems: Linux, Macosx, Windows
Data Formats: Plain Ascii
Tags: Dimensionality Reduction
Archive: download here


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