I'm a computer scientist who's studying support vector machines (SVMs) in a machine learning course. I have some understanding of how SVMs are designed, thanks to 16. Learning: Support Vector Machines - MIT. However, what I'm not understanding is the transition from the optimization problem of the Lagrangian function to its implementation in any programming language. Basically, what I need to understand is how to build, from scratch, the decision function, given a training set. In particular, how do I find Lagrange multipliers in order to know which points are to be considered to define support vectors and the decision function?

Can anyone explain this to me?

  • $\begingroup$ We're you ever able to answer your question because I have arrived at a similar point? $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2020 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


Based on this repository:


I will try to reverse engineering that concept:

So firstly there is issue for DataCleaning(removing 0,values, serialize, normalize)

normalizing dataset (replaced by its difference from the mean)

credit_df_norm = (credit_df - credit_df.mean())/(credit_df.std())

Divide dataset into Train & Test:

train_df = credit_df_norm.drop(target, axis=1).loc[:training_points]
train_target = credit_df_norm[target].replace(0, -1).loc[:training_points]

And here is starting the clue of that algorithms (with maths etc.)

given data points $\vec x_j \in \mathbb{R}^{1 \times N}$ and targets $y_j = \pm 1$, where $j = 1, \dots, M$, find the maximum-margin hyperplane that separates the two classes ($y_j = 1$ and $y_j = -1$).

Let $\vec w$ be the vector normal to the hyperplane. We want to find $\vec w$ that satisfies

$$ y_j (\vec w \cdot \vec x_j + b) \geq 1 $$ The dual formulation of the above is equivalent to maximizing the following over the multipliers $\vec \alpha$:

$$ L(\vec \alpha) = \vec y \cdot \vec \alpha - \frac 1 2 \vec \alpha > K \vec \alpha^T$$ subject to the constraints $\sum_{j=1}^M \alpha_j = > 0$ and $y_j \alpha_j \geq 0$. The matrix $K$ defines the kernel of the SVM; I've chosen $K_{jk} = k(\vec x_j, \vec x_k) = \vec x_j \cdot \vec > x_k$. The parameters of the plane are recovered from $\vec w = \vec > \alpha \cdot \vec x$ and $b = y_j = \vec w \cdot \alpha_j$ for $j$ such that $\alpha_j \neq 0$

Let's divide it to the single factors:

we need to find maximum-margin-hyperplane for separate into two classes: Separation cause SVN is classification - so we need to classify elements into categories.

𝑦𝑗 = 1

𝑦𝑗 = βˆ’1

This pattern allow to find hyperplane(?)

𝑦𝑗(𝑀⃗ β‹…π‘₯βƒ— 𝑗+𝑏)β‰₯1

The next pattern:

𝐿(𝛼⃗ )=𝑦⃗ ⋅𝛼⃗ βˆ’12𝛼⃗ >𝐾𝛼⃗ 𝑇

The author for kernel SVN choose those pattern:

πΎπ‘—π‘˜=π‘˜(π‘₯βƒ— 𝑗,π‘₯βƒ— π‘˜)=π‘₯βƒ— 𝑗⋅>βƒ— π‘₯π‘˜

And the parameters for plane are here:

𝑀⃗ =>βƒ— 𝛼⋅π‘₯βƒ— and 𝑏=𝑦𝑗=𝑀⃗ ⋅𝛼𝑗 for 𝑗 such that 𝛼𝑗≠0

Reference: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1307.0471.pdf

In this line are added the kernel

Popular kernels are:

  • Polynomial Kernel,

  • Gaussian Kernel,

  • Radial Basis Function (RBF),

  • Laplace RBF Kernel,

  • Sigmoid Kernel,

  • Anove RBF Kernel

    k_value = np.array(train_df @ train_df.T + np.identity(len(train_target))*1e-12)

The structure of k_value (kernel matrix) is an array.

enter image description here

Next there is use of cholesky decompositionβ€”cholesky - which is next complicated concept.


Next some bits of data converting:

alpha = cp.Variable(shape=train_target.shape)

beta = cp.multiply(alpha, train_target) # to simplify notation

K = cp.Parameter(shape=k_value.shape, PSD=True, value=k_value)

# objective function
obj = .5 * cp.quad_form(beta, K) - np.ones(alpha.shape).T @ alpha

# constraints
const = [np.array(train_target.T) @ alpha == 0,
        -alpha <= np.zeros(alpha.shape),
        alpha <= 10*np.ones(shape=alpha.shape)]
prob = cp.Problem(cp.Minimize(obj), const)

The next step is recreate the hyperplane:

w = np.multiply(train_target, alpha.value).T @ train_df
S = (alpha.value > 1e-4).flatten()
b = train_target[S] - train_df[S] @ w
b = b[0]
# b = np.mean(b)

And finally - the classification and evaluation:

def classify(x):
    result = w @ x + b
    return np.sign(result)

correct = 0
incorrect = 0
validation_set = credit_df_norm.drop(target, axis=1)
predictions = []
for i, x in validation_set.iterrows():
    my_svm = classify(x)
    if my_svm==credit_df_norm[target].replace(0, -1)[i]: correct +=1
    else: incorrect +=1
predictions = np.array(predictions)

print(f"fraction correct: {correct/(correct + incorrect)}")

That was the more detailed implementation - for shorcut there is an interesting article:


There are existing function from another library - that can be reused in simple manner:

# Fitting SVM to the Training set
from sklearn.svm import SVC
classifier = SVC(kernel = 'rbf', C = 0.1, gamma = 0.1)
classifier.fit(X_train, y_train)

%matplotlib inline
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from scipy import stats

# use seaborn plotting defaults
import seaborn as sns; sns.set()

Visualized Dataset: enter image description here

Dataset after apply hyperplanes: enter image description here


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