# How To Create a Neural Network In Python – With And Without Keras

This Python tutorial is a part of our series of Python packages related tutorials.

**There are two ways to create a neural network in Python:**

**From Scratch**– this can be a good learning exercise, as it will teach you how neural networks work from the ground up**Using a Neural Network Library**– packages like Keras and TensorFlow simplify the building of neural networks by abstracting away the low-level code. If you’re already familiar with how neural networks work, this is the fastest and easiest way to create one.

No matter which method you choose, working with a neural network to make a prediction is essentially the same:

**Import the libraries**. For example:**import numpy as np****Define/create input data**. For example, use**numpy**to create a dataset and an array of data values.**Add weights and bias**(if applicable) to input features. These are learnable parameters, meaning that they can be adjusted during training.- Weights = input parameters that influences output
- Bias = an extra threshold value added to the output

**Train the network**against known, good data in order to find the correct values for the weights and biases.**Test the Network**against a set of test data to see how it performs.**Fit the model**with hyperparameters (parameters whose values are used to control the learning process), calculate accuracy, and make a prediction.

**Create a Neural Network from Scratch**

In this example, I’ll use Python code and the numpy and scipy libraries to create a simple neural network with two nodes.

# Import python libraries required in this example: import numpy as np from scipy.special import expit as activation_function from scipy.stats import truncnorm # DEFINE THE NETWORK # Generate random numbers within a truncated (bounded) # normal distribution: def truncated_normal(mean=0, sd=1, low=0, upp=10): return truncnorm( (low - mean) / sd, (upp - mean) / sd, loc=mean, scale=sd) # Create the ‘Nnetwork’ class and define its arguments: # Set the number of neurons/nodes for each layer # and initialize the weight matrices: class Nnetwork: def __init__(self, no_of_in_nodes, no_of_out_nodes, no_of_hidden_nodes, learning_rate): self.no_of_in_nodes = no_of_in_nodes self.no_of_out_nodes = no_of_out_nodes self.no_of_hidden_nodes = no_of_hidden_nodes self.learning_rate = learning_rate self.create_weight_matrices() def create_weight_matrices(self): """ A method to initialize the weight matrices of the neural network""" rad = 1 / np.sqrt(self.no_of_in_nodes) X = truncated_normal(mean=0, sd=1, low=-rad, upp=rad) self.weights_in_hidden = X.rvs((self.no_of_hidden_nodes, self.no_of_in_nodes)) rad = 1 / np.sqrt(self.no_of_hidden_nodes) X = truncated_normal(mean=0, sd=1, low=-rad, upp=rad) self.weights_hidden_out = X.rvs((self.no_of_out_nodes, self.no_of_hidden_nodes)) def train(self, input_vector, target_vector): pass # More work is needed to train the network def run(self, input_vector): """ running the network with an input vector 'input_vector'. 'input_vector' can be tuple, list or ndarray """ # Turn the input vector into a column vector: input_vector = np.array(input_vector, ndmin=2).T # activation_function() implements the expit function, # which is an implementation of the sigmoid function: input_hidden = activation_function(self.weights_in_hidden @ input_vector) output_vector = activation_function(self.weights_hidden_out @ input_hidden) return output_vector # RUN THE NETWORK AND GET A RESULT # Initialize an instance of the class: simple_network = Nnetwork(no_of_in_nodes=2, no_of_out_nodes=2, no_of_hidden_nodes=4, learning_rate=0.6) # Run simple_network for arrays, lists and tuples with shape (2): # and get a result: simple_network.run([(3, 4)])

*Figure 1.* Array defined by the random values of the weights:

**Create a Neural Network Using Keras**

It’s difficult to replicate exactly the Python code in the previous example using Keras, so we’ll create a similar 2-node network model instead.

# Import python libraries required in this example: from keras.models import Sequential from keras.layers import Dense, Activation import numpy as np # Use numpy arrays to store inputs (x) and outputs (y): x = np.array([[0,0], [0,1], [1,0], [1,1]]) y = np.array([[0], [1], [1], [0]]) # Define the network model and its arguments. # Set the number of neurons/nodes for each layer: model = Sequential() model.add(Dense(2, input_shape=(2,))) model.add(Activation('sigmoid')) model.add(Dense(1)) model.add(Activation('sigmoid')) # Compile the model and calculate its accuracy: model.compile(loss='mean_squared_error', optimizer='sgd', metrics=['accuracy']) # Print a summary of the Keras model: model.summary()

*Figure 2. *Summary of the Keras model:

**The following tutorials will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to work with machine learning Python packages:**

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