GSoC 2013

We are Participating in the Google Summer of Code 2013 Program

In case you are a talented student interested in a summer project, we are looking for you! In Summer of Code 2013 we aim at:

  • Improving accessibility to Shogun (demos, i/o support (more file formats), mldata and mloss integration).
  • Developing new machine learning algorithms (ICA, sparse Gaussian density estimation, metric learning, etc) and extensions of existing frameworks (dimension reduction, Gaussian processes, structured output).

Check out our ideas list and instructions on how to apply. To get an idea what shogun is about check out the documentation and read our overview paper:

Soeren Sonnenburg, Gunnar Raetsch, Sebastian Henschel, Christian Widmer, Jonas Behr, Alexander Zien, Fabio de Bona, Alexander Binder, Christian Gehl, and Vojtech Franc. The SHOGUN Machine Learning Toolbox . Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11:1799-1802, June 2010.

We are planning to participate in the Google Summer of Code 2013 Program

Stay tuned in melange for news regarding the accepted organizations (announcement on April 8th). Also, you may start checking out our ideas list and see if you find something interesting. Of course do not hesitate to contact us if you have a cool idea for a project - we may be as well interested in it.

CfP: Google Summer of Code (Deadline May 3, 19hrs UTC)

Call for Participation

We are looking for interested students to join us in improving the shogun machine learning toolbox in this year's google summer of code.


Application deadline is May 3, 19hrs UTC and the program will run from May to the end of September (cf. ).

About Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers students stipends ($5000 / per student) to write code for open source projects.

About the shogun machine learning toolbox

SHOGUN is a machine learning toolbox, which is designed for unified large-scale learning for a broad range of feature types and learning settings. It offers a considerable number of machine learning models such as support vector machines for classification and regression, hidden Markov models, multiple kernel learning, linear discriminant analysis, linear programming machines, and perceptrons. Most of the specific algorithms are able to deal with several different data classes, including dense and sparse vectors and sequences using floating point or discrete data types. We have used this toolbox in several applications from computational biology, some of them coming with no less than 10 million training examples and others with 7 billion test examples. With more than a thousand installations worldwide, SHOGUN is already widely adopted in the machine learning community and beyond.

SHOGUN is implemented in C++ and interfaces to all important languages like MATLAB, R, Octave, Python, Lua, Java, C#, Ruby and has a stand-alone command line interface. The source code is freely available under the GNU General Public License, Version 3 at

During Summer of Code 2013 we intend to improve the accessibility of the library. Additionally we will be complementing it with promising (new) machine learning algorithms.

How to Apply

  • To apply for shogun, select one or multiple topics from our ideas list or propose topics you are highly interested in - we might be very interested too :)
  • Before applying, please ensure that you have your working environment set up, i.e. checkout shogun from git and successfully compiled its relevant parts (see instructions on and indicate that you have done so. In addition, it is required to contribute at least a small patch to get you set up (e.g. by attacking one of the entry tasks) and to be considered.
  • Please note that we have an application template that following will incredibly help us to process your application. It is at the bottom of the website (link follows below). This webpage also has the register for GSoC application link.

If you have further questions don't hesitate to ask on the shogun mailinglist (, please note that you have to be subscribed in order to post) or on channel #shogun.

Additional Resources

  • In case you are unsure if you are good enough or have other questions check out the student FAQ.
  • Some general guidelines how to make a good impression :)

Shogun Student Applications Statistics for Google Summer of Code 2013

Almost a month has passed since SHOGUN has been accepted for Google Summer of Code 2013. Student application deadline was today (May 6) and shogun received 57 proposals from 52 students. This is quite some increase compared to 2012 (48 applications from 38 students). What is interesting though is that it didn't look that good in the very beginning (see the figure below):

Comparing this to 2012, this curve is much more flat in the beginning but exponentially increasing towards the end. Why is that? We didn't change the way we engaged with students (even though we tried to improve the instructions and added lots of entrance tagged tasks to github issues). We still require patches to be submitted to even be considered. So it is similarly tough to get into gsoc 2013 with us as it was in the previous year.

What is interesting though is that various organizations complained about a slow uptake in the beginning. And it turns out that google did limit the number of student applications from 20 (last year) to 5 (in 2013). This might explain the shape of the curve: Students are more cautious to apply but once the deadline is near the apply to the maximum of 5 to improve their chances. This goes hand-in-hand with the observation that the quality of newly submitted student applications tends to decrease towards the deadline.

So did this new limit hurt? To the contrary! In the end the quality of proposals increased a lot and we were able to even way before the student application deadline start to score/rank students. We are happy to have many very strong candidates this year again. Lets hope we get enough slots to accommodate all of the excellent students and then lets start the fun :)

Google Summer of Code 2013 Mentor Summit

Extracted from the original publication in Heiko's personal blog.

Shogun’s third Google Summer of Code just ended with our participation in the mentor summit at Google’s headquarter in Mountain View and the release of Shogun 3.0 (link) What a great summer!

October brought the mentor summit, which I (Heiko) attended for the first time. This was such a cool event! There was a hotel with hot-tub, lots of goodies on the google campus as for example an on-site barista (!), a GSoC mentor with a robot-dog, and loads of loads of interesting people from interesting open-source projects. Some of these were new to me, some of them are projects that I have been checking out for more than 10 years now. I attended a few fruitful sessions, for example on open-source software for science. Sören hang out with the people he knew from previous years and the cool Debian guys (for which he is a developer too).

After the summit, the Shogun mentor team went hiking in the south Californian desert - I even climbed a rock.

What a great summer!




What's New

Feb. 17, 2014 -> SHOGUN 3.2.0
Jan. 6, 2014 -> SHOGUN 3.1.1
Jan. 5, 2014 -> SHOGUN 3.1.0
Oct. 28, 2013 -> SHOGUN 3.0.0
March 17, 2013 -> SHOGUN 2.1.0
Sept. 1, 2012 -> SHOGUN 2.0.0
Dec. 1, 2011 -> SHOGUN 1.1.0