Oracle Advanced Analytics

How to get ORE to work with APEX

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This blog post will bring you through the steps of how to get Oracle R Enterprise (ORE) to work with APEX.

The reason for this blog posts is that since ORE 1.4+ the security model has changed for how you access and run in-database user defined R scripts using the ORE SQL API functions.

I have a series of blog posts going out on using Oracle Text, Oracle R Enterprise and Oracle Data Mining. It was during one of these posts I wanted to show how easy it was to display an R chart using ORE in APEX. Up to now my APEX environment consisted of APEX 4 and ORE 1.3. Everything worked, nice and easy. But in my new APEX environment (APEX 5 and ORE 1.5), it didn’t work. This is the calling of an in-database user defined R script using the SQL API functions didn’t work. Here is the error message that is displayed.

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So something extra was needed with using ORE 1.5. The security model around the use of in-database user defined R scripts has changed. Extra functions are now available to allow you who can run these scripts. For example we have an ore.grant function where you can grant another user the privilege to run the script.

But the problem was, when I was in APEX, the application was defined on the same schema that the r script was created in (this was the RQUSER schema). When I connect to the RQUSER schema using ORE and SQL, I was able to see and run this R script (see my previous blog post for these details). But when I was in APEX I wasn’t able to see the R script. For example, when using the SQL Workshop in APEX, I just couldn’t see the R script.

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Something strange is going on. It turns out that the view definitions for the in-database ORE scripts are defined with

owner=SYS_CONTEXT('USERENV', 'SESSION_USER');

(Thanks to the Oracle ORE team and the Oracle APEX team for their help in working out what needed to be done)

This means when I’m connected to APEX, using my schema (RQUSER), I’m not able to see any of my ORE objects.

How do you overcome this problem ?

To fix this problem, I needed to grant the APEX_PUBLIC_USER access to my ORE script.

ore.grant(name = "prepare_tm_data_2", type = "rqscript", user = "APEX_PUBLIC_USER")

Now when I query the ALL_RQ_SCRIPTS view again, using the APEX SQL Workshop, I now get the following.

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Great. Now I can see the ORE script in my schema.

Now when I run my APEX application I now get graphic produced by R, running on my DB server, and delivered to my APEX application using SQL (via a BLOB object), displayed on my screen.

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Change the size of ORE PNG graphics using in-database R functions

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In a previous blog post I showed you how create and display a ggplot2 R graphic using SQL. Make sure to check it out before reading the rest of this blog post.

In my previous blog post, I showed and mentioned that the PNG graphic returned by the embedded R execution SQL statement was not the same as what was produced if you created the graphic in an R session.

Here is the same ggplot2 graphic. The first one is what is produced in an R session and the section is what is produced by SQL query and the embedded R execution in Oracle.

NewImage

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As you can see the second image (produced using the embedded R execution) gives a very square image.

The reason for this is that Oracle R Enterprise (ORE) creates the graphic image in PNG format. The default setting from this is 480 x 480. You will find this information when you go digging in the R documentation and not in the Oracle documentation.

So, how can I get my ORE produced graphic to appear like what is produced in R?

What you need to do is to change the height and width of the PNG image produced by ORE. You can do this by passing parameters in the SQL statement used to call the user defined R function, that in turn produces the ggplot2 image.

In my previous post, I gave the SQL statement to call and produce the graphic (shown above). One of the parameters to the rqTableEval function was set to null. This was because we didn’t have any parameters to pass, apart from the data set.

We can replace this null with any parameters we want to pass to the user defined R function (demo_ggpplot). To pass the parameters we need to define them using a SELECT statement.

cursor(select 500 as "ore.png.height", 850 as "ore.png.width" from dual),

The full SELECT statement now becomes

select *
from table(rqTableEval( cursor(select * from claims),
                        cursor(select 500 as "ore.png.height", 850 as "ore.png.width" from dual),
                        'PNG',
                        'demo_ggpplot'));

When you view the graphic in SQL Developer, you will get something that looks a bit more like what you would expect or want to see.

NewImage

For each graphic image you want to produce using ORE you will need to figure out that are the best PNG height and width settings to use. Plus it also depends on what tool or application you are going to use to display the images (eg. APEX etc)

Oracle Text, Oracle R Enterprise and Oracle Data Mining – Part 1

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A project that I’ve been working on for a while now involves the use of Oracle Text, Oracle R Enterprise and Oracle Data Mining. Oracle Text comes with your Oracle Database licence. Oracle R Enterprise and Oracle Data Mining are part of the Oracle Advanced Analytics (extra cost) option.

What I will be doing over the course of 4 or maybe 5 blog posts is how these products can work together to help you gain a grater insight into your data, and part of your data being large text items like free format text, documents (in various forms e.g. html, xml, pdf, ms word), etc.

Unfortunately I cannot show you examples from the actual project I’ve been working on (and still am, from time to time). But what I can do is to show you how products and components can work together.

In this blog post I will just do some data setup. As with all project scenarios there can be many ways of performing the same tasks. Some might be better than others. But what I will be showing you is for demonstration purposes.

The scenario: The scenario for this blog post is that I want to extract text from some webpages and store them in a table in my schema. I then want to use Oracle Text to search the text from these webpages.

Schema setup: We need to create a table that will store the text from the webpages. We also want to create an Oracle Text index so that this text is searchable.

drop sequence my_doc_seq;
create sequence my_doc_seq;

drop table my_documents;

create table my_documents (
doc_pk number(10) primary key, 
doc_title varchar2(100), 
doc_extracted date, 
data_source varchar2(200), 
doc_text clob);

create index my_documents_ot_idx on my_documents(doc_text) 
indextype is CTXSYS.CONTEXT;

In the table we have a number of descriptive attributes and then a club for storing the website text. We will only be storing the website text and not the html document (More on that later). In order to make the website text searchable in the DOC_TEXT attribute we need to create an Oracle Text index of type CONTEXT.

There are a few challenges with using this type of index. For example when you insert a new record or update the DOC_TEXT attribute, the new values/text will not be reflected instantly, just like we are use to with traditional indexes. Instead you have to decide when you want to index to be updated. For example, if you would like the index to be updated after each commit then you can create the index using the following.

create index my_documents_ot_idx on my_documents(doc_text) 
indextype is CTXSYS.CONTEXT
parameters ('sync (on commit)');

Depending on the number of documents you have being committed to the DB, this might not be for you. You need to find the balance. Alternatively you could schedule the index to be updated by passing an interval to the ‘sync’ in the above command. Alternatively you might want to use DBMS_JOB to schedule the update.

To manually sync (or via DBMS_JOB) the index, assuming we used the first ‘create index’ statement, we would need to run the following.

EXEC CTX_DDL.SYNC_INDEX('my_documents_ot_idx');

This function just adds the new documents to the index. This can, over time, lead to some fragmentation of the index, and will require it to the re-organised on a semi-regular basis. Perhaps you can schedule this to happen every night, or once a week, or whatever makes sense to you.

BEGIN
  CTX_DDL.OPTIMIZE_INDEX('my_documents_ot_idx','FULL');
END;

(I could talk a lot more about setting up some basics of Oracle Text, the indexes, etc. But I’ll leave that for another day or you can read some of the many blog posts that already exist on the topic.)

Extracting text from a webpage using R: Some time ago I wrote a blog post on using some of the text mining features and packages in R to produce a word cloud based on some of the Oracle Advanced Analytics webpages.

I’m going to use the same webpages and some of the same code/functions/packages here.

The first task you need to do is to get your hands on the ‘htmlToText function. You can download the htmlToText function on github. This function requires the ‘Curl’ and ‘XML’ R packages. So you may need to install these.

I also use the str_replace_all function (“stringer’ R package) to remove some of the html that remains, to remove some special quotes and to replace and occurrences of ‘&’ with ‘and’.

# Load the function and required R packages
source(“c:/app/htmltotext.R”)
library(stringr)

data1 <- str_replace_all(htmlToText("http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/options/advanced-analytics/overview/index.html"), "[\r\n\t\"\'\u201C\u201D]" , "")
data1 <- str_replace_all(data1, "&", "and")
data2 <- str_replace_all(str_replace_all(htmlToText("http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/options/advanced-analytics/odm/index.html"), "[\r\n\t\"\'\u201C\u201D]" , ""), "&", "and")
data2 <- str_replace_all(data2, "&", "and")
data3 <- str_replace_all(str_replace_all(htmlToText("http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/r/r-technologies/overview/index.html"), "[\r\n\t\"\'\u201C\u201D]" , ""), "&", "and")
data3 <- str_replace_all(data3, "&", "and")
data4 <- str_replace_all(str_replace_all(htmlToText("http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/r/r-enterprise/overview/index.html"), "[\r\n\t\"\'\u201C\u201D]" , ""), "&", "and")
data4 <- str_replace_all(data4, "&", "and")

We now have the text extracted and cleaned up.

Create a data frame to contain all our data: Now that we have the text extracted, we can prepare the other data items we need to insert the data into our table (‘my_documents’). The first stept is to construct a data frame to contain all the data.

data_source = c("http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/options/advanced-analytics/overview/index.html",
                 "http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/options/advanced-analytics/odm/index.html",
                 "http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/r/r-technologies/overview/index.html",
                 "http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/r/r-enterprise/overview/index.html")
doc_title = c("OAA_OVERVIEW", "OAA_ODM", "R_TECHNOLOGIES", "OAA_ORE")
doc_extracted = Sys.Date()
data_text <- c(data1, data2, data3, data4)

my_docs <- data.frame(doc_title, doc_extracted, data_source, data_text)

Insert the data into our database table: With the data in our data fram (my_docs) we can now use this data to insert into our database table. There are a number of ways of doing this in R. What I’m going to show you here is how to do it using Oracle R Enterprise (ORE). The thing with ORE is that there is no explicit functionality for inserting and updating records in a database table. What you need to do is to construct, in my case, the insert statement and then use ore.exec to execute this statement in the database.

Creating ggplot2 graphics using SQL

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Did you read the title of this blog post! Read it again.

Yes, Yes, I know what you are saying, “SQL cannot produce graphics or charts and particularly not ggplot2 graphics”.

You are correct to a certain extent. SQL is rubbish a creating graphics (and I’m being polite).

But with Oracle R Enterprise you can now produce graphics on your data using the embedded R execution feature of Oracle R Enterprise using SQL. In this blog post I will show you how.

1. Pre-requisites

You need to have installed Oracle R Enterprise on your Oracle Database Server. Plus you need to install the ggplot2 R package.

In your R session you will need to setup a ORE connection to your Oracle schema.

2. Write and Test your R code to produce the graphic

It is always a good idea to write and test your R code before you go near using it in a user defined function.

For our (first) example we are going to create a bar chart using the ggplot2 R package. This is a basic example and the aim is to illustrate the steps you need to go through to call and produce this graphic using SQL.

The following code using the CLAIMS data set that is available with/for Oracle Advanced Analytics. The first step is to pull the data from the table in your Oracle schema to your R session. This is because ggplot2 cannot work with data referenced by an ore.frame object.

data.subset <- ore.pull(CLAIMS) 

Next we need to aggregate the data. Here we are counting the number of records for each Make of car.

aggdata2 <- aggregate(data.subset$POLICYNUMBER,
                      by = list(MAKE = data.subset$MAKE),
                      FUN = length)

Now load the ggplot2 R package and use it to build the bar chart.

ggplot(data=aggdata2, aes(x=MAKE, y=x, fill=MAKE)) + 
       geom_bar(color="black", stat="identity") +
       xlab("Make of Car") + 
       ylab("Num of Accidents") + 
       ggtitle("Accidents by Make of Car")

The following is the graphic that our call to ggplot2 produces in R.

NewImage

At this point we have written and tested our R code and know that it works.

3. Create a user defined R function and store it in the Oracle Database

Our next step in the process is to create an in-database user defined R function. This is were we store R code in our Oracle Database and make this available as an R function. To create the user defined R function we can use some PL/SQL to define it, and then take our R code (see above) and in it.

BEGIN
   -- sys.rqScriptDrop('demo_ggpplot');
   sys.rqScriptCreate('demo_ggpplot', 
      'function(dat) {
         library(ggplot2)
         
         aggdata2 <- aggregate(dat$POLICYNUMBER,
                      by = list(MAKE = dat$MAKE),
                      FUN = length)

        g <-ggplot(data=aggdata2, aes(x=MAKE, y=x, fill=MAKE)) + geom_bar(color="black", stat="identity") +
                   xlab("Make of Car") + ylab("Num of Accidents") + ggtitle("Accidents by Make of Car")

        plot(g)
   }');
END;

We have to make a small addition to our R code. We need need to include a call to the plot function so that the image can be returned as a BLOB object. If you do not do this then the SQL query in step 4 will return no rows.

4. Write the SQL to call it

To call our defined R function we will need to use one of the ORE SQL API functions. In the following example we are using the rqTableEval function. The first parameter for this function passes in the data to be processed. In our case this is the data from the CLAIMS table. The second parameter is set to null. The third parameter is set to the output format and in our case we want this to be PNG. The fourth parameter is the name of the user defined R function.

select *
from table(rqTableEval( cursor(select * from claims),
                        null,
                        'PNG',
                        'demo_ggpplot'));                        

5. How to view the results

The SQL query in Step 4 above will return one row and this row will contain a column with a BLOB data type.

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The easiest way to view the graphic that is produced is to use SQL Developer. It has an inbuilt feature that allows you to display BLOB objects. All you need to do is to double click on the BLOB cell (under the column labeled IMAGE). A window will open called ‘View Value’. In this window click the ‘View As Image’ check box on the top right hand corner of the window. When you do the R ggplot2 graphic will be displayed.

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Yes the image is not 100% the same as the image produced in our R session. I will have another blog post that deals with this at a later date.

But, now you have written a SQL query, that calls R code to produce an R graphic (using ggplot2) of our data.

6. Now you can enhance the graphics (without changing your SQL)

What if you get bored with the bar chart and you want to change it to a different type of graphic? All you need to do is to change the relevant code in the user defined R function.

For example, if we want to change the graphic to a polar plot. The following is the PL/SQL code that re-defines the user defined R script.

BEGIN
   sys.rqScriptDrop('demo_ggpplot');
   sys.rqScriptCreate('demo_ggpplot', 
      'function(dat) {
         library(ggplot2)
         
         aggdata2 <- aggregate(dat$POLICYNUMBER,
                      by = list(MAKE = dat$MAKE),
                      FUN = length)

         n <- nrow(aggdata2)
         degrees <- 360/n

        aggdata2$MAKE_ID <- 1:nrow(aggdata2)

        g<- ggplot(data=aggdata2, aes(x=MAKE, y=x, fill=MAKE)) + geom_bar(color="black", stat="identity") +
               xlab("Make of Car") + ylab("Num of Accidents") + ggtitle("Accidents by Make of Car") + coord_polar(theta="x") 
        plot(g)
   }');
END;

We can use the exact same SQL query we defined in Step 4 above to call the next graphic.

NewImage

All done.

Now that was easy! Right?

I kind of is easy once you have been shown. There are a few challenges when working in-database user defined R functions and writing the SQL to call them. Most of the challenges are around the formatting of R code in the function and the syntax of the SQL statement to call it. With a bit of practice it does get easier.

7. Where/How can you use these graphics ?

Any application or program that can call and process a BLOB data type can display these images. For example, I’ve been able to include these graphics in applications developed in APEX.

Cluster Distance using SQL with Oracle Data Mining – Part 4

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This is the fourth and last blog post in a series that looks at how you can examine the details of predicted clusters using Oracle Data Mining. In the previous blog posts I looked at how to use CLUSER_ID, CLUSTER_PROBABILITY and CLUSTER_SET.

In this blog post we will look at CLUSTER_DISTANCE. We can use the function to determine how close a record is to the centroid of the cluster. Perhaps we can use this to determine what customers etc we might want to focus on most. The customers who are closest to the centroid are one we want to focus on first. So we can use it as a way to prioritise our workflows, particularly when it is used in combination with the value for CLUSTER_PROBABILITY.

Here is an example of using CLUSTER_DISTANCE to list all the records that belong to Cluster 14 and the results are ordered based on closeness to the centroid of this cluster.

SELECT customer_id, 
       cluster_probability(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as cluster_Prob,
       cluster_distance(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as cluster_Distance
FROM   insur_cust_ltv_sample
WHERE   cluster_id(clus_km_1_37 USING *) = 14
order by cluster_Distance asc;

Here is a subset of the results from this query.

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When you examine the results you may notice that the records that is listed first and closest record to the centre of cluster 14 has a very low probability. You need to remember that we are working in a N-dimensional space here. Although this first record is closest to the centre of cluster 14 it has a really low probability and if we examine this record in more detail we will find that it is at an overlapping point between a number of clusters.

This is why we need to use the CLUSTER_DISTANCE and CLUSTER_PROBABILITY functions together in our workflows and applications to determine how we need to process records like these.

Cluster Sets using SQL with Oracle Data Mining – Part 3

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This is the third blog post on my series on examining the Clusters that were predicted by an Oracle Data Mining model. Check out the previous blog posts.

In the previous posts we were able to list the predicted cluster for each record in our data set. This is the cluster that the records belonged to the most. I also mentioned that a record could belong to many clusters.

So how can you list all the clusters that the a record belongs to?

You can use the CLUSTER_SET SQL function. This will list the Cluster Id and a probability measure for each cluster. This function returns a array consisting of the set of all clusters that the record belongs to.

The following example illustrates how to use the CLUSTER_SET function for a particular cluster model.

SELECT t.customer_id, s.cluster_id, s.probability
FROM   (select customer_id, cluster_set(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as Cluster_Set
        from   insur_cust_ltv_sample 
        WHERE  customer_id in ('CU13386', 'CU100')) T,
      TABLE(T.cluster_set) S
order by t.customer_id, s.probability desc; 

The output from this query will be an ordered data set based on the customer id and then the clusters listed in descending order of probability. The cluster with the highest probability is what would be returned by the CLUSTER_ID function. The output from the above query is shown below.

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If you would like to see the details of each of the clusters and to examine the differences between these clusters then you will need to use the CLUSTER_DETAILS function (see previous blog post).

You can specify topN and cutoff to limit the number of clusters returned by the function. By default, both topN and cutoff are null and all clusters are returned.

– topN is the N most probable clusters. If multiple clusters share the Nth probability, then the function chooses one of them.

– cutoff is a probability threshold. Only clusters with probability greater than or equal to cutoff are returned. To filter by cutoff only, specify NULL for topN.

You may want to use these individually or combined together if you have a large number of customers. To return up to the N most probable clusters that are greater than or equal to cutoff, specify both topN and cutoff.

The following example illustrates using the topN value to return the top 4 clusters.

SELECT t.customer_id, s.cluster_id, s.probability
FROM   (select customer_id, cluster_set(clus_km_1_37, 4, null USING *) as Cluster_Set
        from   insur_cust_ltv_sample 
        WHERE  customer_id in ('CU13386', 'CU100')) T,
      TABLE(T.cluster_set) S
order by t.customer_id, s.probability desc;

and the output from this query shows only 4 clusters displayed for each record.

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Alternatively you can select the clusters based on a cut off value for the probability. In the following example this is set to 0.05.

SELECT t.customer_id, s.cluster_id, s.probability
FROM   (select customer_id, cluster_set(clus_km_1_37, NULL, 0.05 USING *) as Cluster_Set
        from   insur_cust_ltv_sample 
        WHERE  customer_id in ('CU13386', 'CU100')) T,
      TABLE(T.cluster_set) S
order by t.customer_id, s.probability desc;

and the output this time looks a bit different.

NewImage

Finally, yes you can combine these two parameters to work together.

SELECT t.customer_id, s.cluster_id, s.probability
FROM (select customer_id, cluster_set(clus_km_1_37, 2, 0.05 USING *) as Cluster_Set
from insur_cust_ltv_sample
WHERE customer_id in (‘CU13386’, ‘CU100’)) T,
TABLE(T.cluster_set) S
order by t.customer_id, s.probability desc;

Examining predicted Clusters and Cluster details using SQL

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In a previous blog post I gave some details of how you can examine some of the details behind a prediction made using a classification model. This seemed to spark a lot of interest. But before I come back to looking at classification prediction details and other information, this blog post is the first in a 4 part blog post on examining the details of Clusters, as identified by a cluster model created using Oracle Data Mining.

The 4 blog posts will consist of:

  • 1 – (this blog post) will look at how to determine the predicted cluster and cluster probability for your record.
  • 2 – will show you how to examine the details behind and used to predict the cluster.
  • 3 – A record could belong to many clusters. In this blog post we will look at how you can determine what clusters a record can belong to.
  • 4 – Cluster distance is a measure of how far the record is from the cluster centroid. As a data point or record can belong to many clusters, it can be useful to know the distances as you can build logic to perform different actions based on the cluster distances and cluster probabilities.

Right. Let’s have a look at the first set of these closer functions. These are CLUSTER_ID and CLUSTER_PROBABILITY.

CLUSER_ID : Returns the number of the cluster that the record most closely belongs to. This is measured by the cluster distance to the centroid of the cluster. A data point or record can belong or be part of many clusters. So the CLUSTER_ID is the cluster number that the data point or record most closely belongs too.

CLUSTER_PROBABILITY : Is a probability measure of the likelihood of the data point or record belongs to a cluster. The cluster with the highest probability score is the cluster that is returned by the CLUSTER_ID function.

Now let us have a quick look at the SQL for these two functions. This first query returns the cluster number that each record most strong belongs too.

SELECT customer_id, 
       cluster_id(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as Cluster_Id, 
FROM   insur_cust_ltv_sample
WHERE  customer_id in ('CU13386', 'CU6607', 'CU100');

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Now let us add in the cluster probability function.

SELECT customer_id, 
       cluster_id(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as Cluster_Id,
       cluster_probability(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as cluster_Prob       
FROM   insur_cust_ltv_sample
WHERE  customer_id in ('CU13386', 'CU6607', 'CU100');

NewImage

These functions gives us some insights into what the cluster predictive model is doing. In the remaining blog posts in this series I will look at how you can delve deeper into the predictions that the cluster algorithm is make.