Preparing your data

The data for your RAMP challenge should consist of:

  • Private test data - this data is stored on the RAMP server and is used to compute scores for each submission for the private leaderboard. It is essential that this data remains private from participants.

  • Private training data - this data is also stored on the RAMP server and will be used by the server to train each submission. It is good practice that this is completely independent of the public data. However, if you have a small data size, it is also fine for this data to be the same as the public data.

  • Public data - this data is made available to the participants. It needs to be split into ‘public training data’ and ‘public testing’ subsets. This is because the same script is used to test submissions when you run RAMP locally and on the RAMP server, when you make a submission to a RAMP event. Therefore, get_train_data() and get_test_data() (see Data I/O) needs to work both locally and on the RAMP server. This is generally achieved by naming the public test and train dataset the same as the private test and train dataset. See RAMP-data for an example.


By convention all the data files for a RAMP challenge are kept in a repository in the ramp-data organisation on GitHub. This is always a private repository and all data, public and private, can be kept here, if size permits.

A script should also be stored here. This script should perform any data cleaning steps on the original data and split the data into the appropriate subsets as detailed above. It is a good way to document all the data cleaning steps. As an example, the Titanic challenge, which has a very basic file, is shown below:

# In this case we have a predefined train/test cut so we are not splitting
# the data here
df_train = pd.read_csv(os.path.join('data', 'train.csv'))
df_test = pd.read_csv(os.path.join('data', 'test.csv'))  # noqa

# In this case the private training data was also used as the public data
df_public = df_train
df_public_train, df_public_test = train_test_split(
    df_public, test_size=0.2, random_state=57)
    # specify the random_state to ensure reproducibility
df_public_train.to_csv(os.path.join('data', 'public_train.csv'), index=False)
df_public_test.to_csv(os.path.join('data', 'public_test.csv'), index=False)

Note that the private training data was also used as the public data, due to the small size of this dataset. At this stage we have 4 files:

  • train.csv - private training data.

  • test.csv - private testing data. This should never be made public.

  • public_train.csv - in this case, this was a subset of the private training data train.csv.

  • public_test.csv - in this case, this was a subset of the private training data train.csv.

We now need to copy the public data files public_train.csv and public_test.csv into the ‘ramp-kits’ directory. Note that the script assumes the file directory structure:

├── <ramp_kits_dir>/
|   └── <ramp_name>/ # the starting kit would be in here
|       └── data/
└── <ramp_data_dir>/
    └── <ramp_name>/ # ramp data files and file are here
        └── data/

The public files are being copied from the ramp_data_dir/data directory into the ramp_kits_dir/data directory. They are also being renamed to train.csv and test.csv, the same filenames as the private data in ramp_data_dir/data. This is because, as mentioned above, the same script is used to test submissions locally and on the RAMP server.

# copy starting kit files to <ramp_kits_dir>/<ramp_name>/data
    os.path.join('data', 'public_train.csv'),
    os.path.join(ramp_kits_dir, ramp_name, 'data', 'train.csv')
    os.path.join('data', 'public_test.csv'),
    os.path.join(ramp_kits_dir, ramp_name, 'data', 'test.csv')

Downloading data

If your data is to be downloaded from elsewhere, you can download the data in the file then clean and create the required private and public datasets.