I have a URL with a colour parameter, like “https://example.com/diamonds?colour=H”. When I go to this URL in my browser, an AWS Lambda instance takes that parameter and passes it to rmarkdown::render, which knits a customised R Markdown report. My Lambda returns the knitted report as HTML, which my browser displays. If I change the parameter to “colour=G”, I get a different report, knitted on-demand. This is all serverless, so I only pay each time a report is requested (around $0.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons kept me sane throughout the first Melbourne COVID lockdown. Now, in lockdown 4, it seems right that I should look back at this cheerful, relaxing game and do some data stuff. I’m going to take the Animal Crossing villagers in the Tidy Tuesday Animal Crossing dataset and combine it with survey data from the Animal Crossing Portal, giving each villager a measure of popularity. I’ll use the Google Cloud Vision API to annotate each of the villager thumbnails, and with these train a a (pretty poor) model of villager popularity.
I have a machine learning model that takes some time to train. Data pre-processing and model fitting can take 15–20 minutes. That’s not so bad, but I also want to tune my model to make sure I’m using the best hyper-parameters. With 16 different combinations of hyperparameters and 5-fold cross-validation, my 20 minutes can become a day or more. Metaflow is an open-source tool from the folks at Netflix that can be used to make this process less painful.
AWS has announced support for container images for their serverless computing platform Lambda. AWS doesn’t provide an R runtime for Lambda, and this was the excuse I needed to finally try to make one. An R runtime means that I can take advantage of AWS Lambda to put my R functions in the cloud. I don’t have to worry about provisioning servers or spinning up containers — the function itself is the star.
I’ve set myself an ambitious goal of building a Kubernetes cluster out of a couple of Raspberry Pis. This is pretty far out of my sphere of knowledge, so I have a lot to learn. I’ll be writing some posts to publish my notes and journal my experience publicly. In this post I’ll go through the basics of Kubernetes, and how I hosted a Plumber API in a Kubernetes cluster on Google Cloud Platform.