SKLearn Spacy Reddit Text Classification Example

In this example we will be buiding a text classifier using the reddit content moderation dataset.

For this, we will be using SpaCy for the word tokenization and lemmatization.

The classification will be done with a Logistic Regression binary classifier.

For more information please visit:

The steps in this tutorial include:

  1. Train and build your NLP model

  2. Build your containerized model

  3. Test your model as a docker container

  4. Run Seldon in your kubernetes cluster

  5. Deploy your model with Seldon

  6. Interact with your model through API

  7. Clean your environment

Before you start

Make sure you install the following dependencies, as they are critical for this example to work:

  • Helm v3.0.0+

  • A Kubernetes cluster running v1.13 or above (minkube / docker-for-windows work well if enough RAM)

  • kubectl v1.14+

  • Python 3.6+

  • Python DEV requirements (we’ll install them below)

Let’s get started! 🚀🔥

1) Train and build your NLP model

%%writefile requirements.txt
Overwriting requirements.txt
[ ]:
!pip install -r requirements.txt
[ ]:
!python -m spacy download en_core_web_sm
import pandas as pd
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
import numpy as np
from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import TfidfVectorizer
from sklearn.linear_model import LogisticRegression
from seldon_core.seldon_client import SeldonClient
import dill
import sys, os

# This import may take a while as it will download the Spacy ENGLISH model
from ml_utils import CleanTextTransformer, SpacyTokenTransformer
df_cols = ["prev_idx", "parent_idx", "body", "removed"]

TEXT_COLUMN = "body"
CLEAN_COLUMN = "clean_body"
TOKEN_COLUMN = "token_body"

# Downloading the 50k reddit dataset of moderated comments
df = pd.read_csv("",
                         names=df_cols, skiprows=1, encoding="ISO-8859-1")

prev_idx parent_idx body removed
0 8756 8877 Always be wary of news articles that cite unpu... 0
1 7330 7432 The problem I have with this is that the artic... 0
2 15711 15944 This is indicative of a typical power law, and... 0
3 1604 1625 This doesn't make sense. Chess obviously trans... 0
4 13327 13520 1. I dispute that gene engineering is burdenso... 0
[ ]:
!pip install matplotlib
# Let's see how many examples we have of each class
x = df["body"].values
y = df["removed"].values
x_train, x_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(
    x, y,
    test_size=0.1, shuffle=True)
# Clean the text
clean_text_transformer = CleanTextTransformer()
x_train_clean = clean_text_transformer.transform(x_train)
# Tokenize the text and get the lemmas
spacy_tokenizer = SpacyTokenTransformer()
x_train_tokenized = spacy_tokenizer.transform(x_train_clean)
# Build tfidf vectorizer
tfidf_vectorizer = TfidfVectorizer(
    preprocessor=lambda x: x,
    tokenizer=lambda x: x,
    ngram_range=(1, 3))
TfidfVectorizer(max_features=10000, ngram_range=(1, 3),
                preprocessor=<function <lambda> at 0x7f709e273a70>,
                tokenizer=<function <lambda> at 0x7f709e2735f0>)
# Transform our tokens to tfidf vectors
x_train_tfidf = tfidf_vectorizer.transform(x_train_tokenized)
# Train logistic regression classifier
lr = LogisticRegression(C=0.1, solver='sag'), y_train)
LogisticRegression(C=0.1, solver='sag')
# These are the models we'll deploy
with open('tfidf_vectorizer.model', 'wb') as model_file:
    dill.dump(tfidf_vectorizer, model_file)
with open('lr.model', 'wb') as model_file:
    dill.dump(lr, model_file)

2) Build your containerized model

import dill

from ml_utils import CleanTextTransformer, SpacyTokenTransformer

class RedditClassifier(object):
    def __init__(self):

        self._clean_text_transformer = CleanTextTransformer()
        self._spacy_tokenizer = SpacyTokenTransformer()

        with open("tfidf_vectorizer.model", "rb") as model_file:
            self._tfidf_vectorizer = dill.load(model_file)

        with open("lr.model", "rb") as model_file:
            self._lr_model = dill.load(model_file)

    def predict(self, X, feature_names):
        clean_text = self._clean_text_transformer.transform(X)
        spacy_tokens = self._spacy_tokenizer.transform(clean_text)
        tfidf_features = self._tfidf_vectorizer.transform(spacy_tokens)
        predictions = self._lr_model.predict_proba(tfidf_features)
        return predictions
# test that our model works
from RedditClassifier import RedditClassifier
# With one sample
sample = x_test[0:1]
print(RedditClassifier().predict(sample, ["feature_name"]))
['This is the study that the article is based on:\r\n\r\n']
[[0.82791781 0.17208219]]

Create Docker Image with the S2i utility

Using the S2I command line interface we wrap our current model to seve it through the Seldon interface

%%writefile Dockerfile
FROM seldonio/seldon-core-s2i-python37-ubi8:1.7.0-dev

RUN pip install spacy==2.3.2
RUN python -m spacy download en_core_web_sm
Overwriting Dockerfile
[ ]:
docker build . -f Dockerfile -t seldonio/seldon-core-spacy-base:0.1

To create a docker image we need to creat s2i folder configuration as below:

!cat .s2i/environment
# As well as a requirements.txt file with all the relevant dependencies
!cat requirements.txt
[ ]:
s2i build . seldonio/seldon-core-spacy-base:0.1 seldonio/reddit-classifier:0.1

3) Test your model as a docker container

# Remove previously deployed containers for this model
!docker rm -f reddit_predictor
Error: No such container: reddit_predictor
!docker run --name "reddit_predictor" -d --rm -p 9001:9000 seldonio/reddit-classifier:0.1
[ ]:
!curl -v -X POST -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
   -d '{"data": { "ndarray": ["this is a terrible comment"], "names": ["tfidf"] } }' \
[ ]:
#We now test the REST endpoint expecting the same result
endpoint = ""
batch = sample
payload_type = "ndarray"

sc = SeldonClient(microservice_endpoint=endpoint)
response = sc.microservice(

# We now stop it to run it in docker
!docker stop reddit_predictor

4) Run Seldon in your kubernetes cluster

Setup Seldon Core

Use the setup notebook to Setup Cluster with Ambassador Ingress or Istio and Install Seldon Core. Instructions also online.

5) Deploy your model with Seldon

We can now deploy our model by using the Seldon graph definition:

%%writefile reddit_clf.json
    "apiVersion": "",
    "kind": "SeldonDeployment",
    "metadata": {
        "labels": {
            "app": "seldon"
        "name": "reddit-classifier"
    "spec": {
        "annotations": {
            "project_name": "Reddit classifier",
            "deployment_version": "v1"
        "name": "reddit-classifier",
        "predictors": [
                "componentSpecs": [{
                    "spec": {
                        "containers": [
                                "image": "seldonio/reddit-classifier:0.1",
                                "imagePullPolicy": "IfNotPresent",
                                "name": "classifier",
                                "resources": {
                                    "requests": {
                                        "memory": "1Mi"
                        "terminationGracePeriodSeconds": 20
                "graph": {
                    "children": [],
                    "name": "classifier",
                    "endpoint": {
            "type" : "REST"
                    "type": "MODEL"
                "name": "single-model",
                "replicas": 1,
        "annotations": {
            "predictor_version" : "v1"
Overwriting reddit_clf.json

Note: if you are using kind preload image first with

kind load docker-image reddit-classifier:0.1 --name <name of your cluster>
!kubectl apply -f reddit_clf.json created
!kubectl get pods
NAME                                                           READY   STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
reddit-classifier-single-model-0-classifier-78d5cf779d-td25h   0/2     ContainerCreating   0          0s
seldon-92a927e5e90d7602e08ba9b9304f70e8-5bcf96696f-6pwbt       1/2     Running             2          3d5h

6) Interact with your model through API

Now that our Seldon Deployment is live, we are able to interact with it through its API.

There are two options in which we can interact with our new model. These are:

  1. Using CURL from the CLI (or another rest client like Postman)

  2. Using the Python SeldonClient

a) Using CURL from the CLI

curl -s -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d '{"data": {"names": ["text"], "ndarray": ["Hello world this is a test"]}}' \

b) Using the Python SeldonClient

[ ]:
from seldon_core.seldon_client import SeldonClient
import numpy as np

sc = SeldonClient(
    gateway_endpoint="localhost:80",   # Make sure you use the port above

client_prediction = sc.predict(
    data=np.array(["Hello world this is a test"]),


7) Clean your environment

!kubectl delete -f reddit_clf.json "reddit-classifier" deleted