Cost function diagram with matplotlib.

This code shows how to create a diagram that visualises the relationship between a weight, bias and cost.

For my training "Create a neural network from scratch with Python", I needed to show a diagram that visualises the cost function.

The training data contains of a single input and single output:

training_data_input = 2
training_data_output = 14  # input * 2 + 10

As you can see, the weight should be 2 and the bias should be 10.

For this single training point, the cost needs to be calculated for a weight and bias within a certain range:

weights, biases = np.meshgrid(range(-4, 8), range(-4, 12))

Cost function

Here is the cost function. It is the Mean Squared Error cost function:

(training_data_output - (w * training_data_input + b)) ** 2

The result:

Here is the code to create the diagram:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

training_data_input = 2
training_data_output = 14  # 2 * 2 + 10

def cost(w, b):
    return (training_data_output - (w * training_data_input + b)) ** 2

fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(projection='3d')
weights, biases = np.meshgrid(range(-4, 8), range(-4, 12))
costs = cost(weights, biases)
ax.plot_wireframe(weights, biases, costs, rstride=1, cstride=1, linewidth=0.5, edgecolor='black')


Interesting Curve.

One of the things I noticed, is that the lowest cost is not a point, but many points on a line in the diagram.

This is because many combinations of weight and bias can cause a low cost and that is one of the reasons why it is important to have a lot of training data while training a neural network!

Written by Loek van den Ouweland on 2021-11-16. Questions regarding this artice? You can send them to the address below.