SHOGUN  4.1.0
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Shogun is split up into libshogun which contains all the machine learning algorithms and 'static interfaces' helpers, the static interfaces python_static, octave_static, matlab_static, r_static and the modular interfaces python_modular, octave_modular and r_modular (all found in the src/interfaces/ subdirectory with corresponding name). See INSTALL for instructions on how to install shogun.

In case one wants to extend shogun the best way is to start using its library. This can be easily done as a number of examples in examples/libshogun document.

The simplest libshogun based program would be

#include <shogun/base/init.h>

using namespace shogun;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
    return 0;

which could be compiled with g++ -lshogun minimal.cpp -o minimal or g++ minimal.cpp -lshogun -o minimal (if the former command does not work, you might need to run ldconfig to configure dynamic linker run-time bindings after the first time installation) and obviously does nothing (apart form initializing and destroying a couple of global shogun objects internally).

In case one wants to redirect shoguns output functions SG_DEBUG, SG_INFO, SG_WARN, SG_ERROR, SG_PRINT etc, one has to pass them to init_shogun() as parameters like this

void print_message(FILE* target, const char* str)
    fprintf(target, "%s", str);

void print_warning(FILE* target, const char* str)
    fprintf(target, "%s", str);

void print_error(FILE* target, const char* str)
    fprintf(target, "%s", str);

init_shogun(&print_message, &print_warning,

To finally see some action one has to include the appropriate header files, e.g. we create some features and a gaussian kernel

#include <shogun/labels/Labels.h>
#include <shogun/features/DenseFeatures.h>
#include <shogun/kernel/GaussianKernel.h>
#include <shogun/classifier/svm/LibSVM.h>
#include <shogun/base/init.h>
#include <shogun/lib/common.h>
#include <shogun/io/SGIO.h>

using namespace shogun;

void print_message(FILE* target, const char* str)
    fprintf(target, "%s", str);

int main(int argc, char** argv)

    // create some data
    SGMatrix<float64_t> matrix(2,3);
    for (int32_t i=0; i<6; i++)

    // create three 2-dimensional vectors
    // shogun will now own the matrix created
    CDenseFeatures<float64_t>* features= new CDenseFeatures<float64_t>();

    // create three labels
    CBinaryLabels* labels=new CBinaryLabels(3);
    labels->set_label(0, -1);
    labels->set_label(1, +1);
    labels->set_label(2, -1);

    // create gaussian kernel with cache 10MB, width 0.5
    CGaussianKernel* kernel = new CGaussianKernel(10, 0.5);
    kernel->init(features, features);

    // create libsvm with C=10 and train
    CLibSVM* svm = new CLibSVM(10, kernel, labels);

    // classify on training examples
    for (int32_t i=0; i<3; i++)
        SG_SPRINT("output[%d]=%f\n", i, svm->apply_one(i));

    // free up memory

    return 0;


Now you probably wonder why this example does not leak memory. First of all, supplying pointers to arrays allocated with new[] will make shogun objects own these objects and will make them take care of cleaning them up on object destruction. Then, when creating shogun objects they keep a reference counter internally. Whenever a shogun object is returned or supplied as an argument to some function its reference counter is increased, for example in the example above

CLibSVM* svm = new CLibSVM(10, kernel, labels);

increases the reference count of kernel and labels. On destruction the reference counter is decreased and the object is freed if the counter is <= 0.

It is therefore your duty to prevent objects from destruction if you keep a handle to them globally which you still intend to use later. In the example above accessing labels after the call to SG_UNREF(svm) will cause a segmentation fault as the Label object was already destroyed in the SVM destructor. You can do this by SG_REF(obj). To decrement the reference count of an object, call SG_UNREF(obj) which will also automagically destroy it if the counter is <= 0 and set obj=NULL only in this case.

Generally, all shogun C++ Objects are prefixed with C, e.g. CSVM and derived from CSGObject. Since variables in the upper class hierarchy, need to be initialized upon construction of the object, the constructor of base class needs to be called in the constructor, e.g. CSVM calls CKernelMachine, CKernelMachine calls CClassifier which finally calls CSGObject.

For example if you implement your own SVM called MySVM you would in the constructor do

class MySVM : public CSVM
    MySVM( ) : CSVM()

In case you got your object working we will happily integrate it into shogun provided you follow a number of basic coding conventions detailed below (see FORMATTING for formatting instructions, MACROS on how to use and name macros, TYPES on which types to use, FUNCTIONS on how functions should look like and NAMING CONVENTIONS for the naming scheme.

CODING STYLE: See [here](Code-style)


The git repo for the project is hosted on GitHub at To get started, create your own fork and clone it (howto). Remember to set the upstream remote to the main repo by:

git remote add upstream git://

Its recommended to create local branches, which are linked to branches from your remote repository. This will make "push" and "pull" work as expected:

git checkout --track origin/master
git checkout --track origin/develop

Each time you want to develop new feature / fix a bug / etc consider creating new branch using:

git checkout -b new_feature_name

While being on new_feature_name branch, develop your code, commit things and do everything you want.

Once your feature is ready (please consider larger commits that keep shogun in compileable state), rebase your new_feature_name branch on upstream/develop with:

git fetch upstream
git checkout develop
git rebase upstream/develop
git checkout new_feature_name
git rebase develop

Now you can push it to your origin repository:

git push

And finally send a pull request (PR) to the develop branch of the shogun repository in github.

run unit testing for basic checks

and only let commiting if the unit testing runs successfully

make unit-tests ``` This way before each commit the unit testing will run automatically and if it fails it won't let you commit until you don't fix the problem (or remove the pre-commit script :P)

Note that the script should be executable, i.e.

chmod +x .git/hook/pre-commit

You can also test all the examples in shogun/exapmles to check whether your configuration and environment is totally okay. Please note that some of the examples are dependent on data sets, which should be downloaded beforehand, and so that you can pass all the tests of those examples. Downloading data can be easily done by calling a git command (please refer to ""). Afterwards, you can test the examples by:

make test

To make a release, adjust the [NEWS](NEWS) file properly, i.e. date, release version (like 3.0.0), adjust the soname if required (cf. README_soname) and if a new data version is required add that too.

SHOGUN Machine Learning Toolbox - Documentation