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Here's how to use EnergeticAI's few-shot classifier library to categorize text, given only a few examples of each category.

About the model

EnergeticAI Classifiers is a wrapper around the EnergeticAI Embeddings library. It uses the Universal Sentence Encoder from Google to convert text into a 512-dimensional vector, and then uses a simple nearest-neighbor search to find the closest training example.

There's no complicated training process. You just need to provide a few examples of each category, and the model will do the rest.

Creating a classifier

You can install the classifiers package using npm:

npm install --save @energetic-ai/core @energetic-ai/classifiers

With the classifiers package, you supply a list of training examples to initClassifier().

Each example is a pair of a string and a label. The label can be any string, but it's best to keep it short and simple. You'll need at least 3 examples for each label to work reliably.

Once you have a classifier, you can use it to classify a single string, or a batch of strings. If you pass a single string, you'll get a single classification back. If you pass an array of strings, you'll get an array of classifications back.

import { initClassifier } from "@energetic-ai/classifiers";

(async () => {
// Initialize with training examples
const classifier = await initClassifier([
["The world is happy", "Positive"],
["Work is so fun", "Positive"],
["I had a great day", "Positive"],
["I had a bad day", "Negative"],
["I am frustrated", "Negative"],
["I am depressed", "Negative"],

// Classify a single string
const single = await classifier.classify("The weather is so nice today");
// { "label": "Positive" ... }

// Classify multiple strings in a batch
const multiple = await classifier.classify([
"What is this? I am so angry!",
"I am so excited!",
// [{ "label": "Negative" ... }, { "label": "Positive" ... }]

Filtering low confidence classifications

The classifier will return a classification for every input string. However, if you're classifying something that's not in the training data, this prediction might not be very accurate.

Classification results contain confidence values for each potential label. You can use this to filter out low-confidence predictions:

classIndex: 1,
label: "Negative",
confidences: { Positive: 0, Negative: 1 },
classIndex: 0,
label: "Positive",
confidences: { Positive: 0.6666666666666666, Negative: 0.3333333333333333 },

Improving cold-start performance

The first time you call initClassifier(), it will download model weights for the embeddings package from the internet. This can take a few seconds, but you can speed it up by installing the English language model weights:

npm install --save @energetic-ai/model-embeddings-en

Then, you can pass the model weights directly into initClassifier():

import { initClassifier } from "@energetic-ai/classifiers";
import { modelSource } from "@energetic-ai/model-embeddings-en";

(async () => {
const classifier = await initClassifier(
/* ...examples... */
// ... snip ...

Improving accuracy

More examples

If you have a lot of training data to work with, the classifier will be unwieldy to initialize, particularly in serverless functions. There's a few ways you can address this:

  • Use a vector database to find nearest neighbors: If you have a lot of training data, you can use the embeddings library directly, and store the embeddings in a vector database. Then, you can fetch the nearest neighbors from the database when you need to classify a string.
  • Use a model: If you have a lot of training data, you can train a model (e.g. a random forest or SVM model) to classify embeddings. This will be more accurate than the few-shot approach described here, but it will come with much higher complexity.

Better examples

The classifier works best when you have fairly diverse examples for each category from your dataset. If you have a lot of examples that are very similar within a category, the classifier may no capture all of the nuance of that label.

For example, if you have a lot of examples of "positive" text that are all about the weather, the classifier may not be able to classify "positive" text about other topics.



The model is currently English-only. Please chime in on the GitHub issue if you'd like to see support for one of the pre-trained multilingual models.

Handling longer text

This classification model performs best on sentences and short paragraphs. See the ideas around this in the embeddings guide.