Lesson 3: Train and save a model using T-SQL

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (Windows only) noAzure SQL Database noAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

This article is part of a tutorial for SQL developers on how to use R in SQL Server.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to train a machine learning model by using R. You'll train the model using the data features you created in the previous lesson, and then save the trained model in a SQL Server table. In this case, the R packages are already installed with R Services (In-Database), so everything can be done from SQL.

Create the stored procedure

When calling R from T-SQL, you use the system stored procedure, sp_execute_external_script. However, for processes that you repeat often, such as retraining a model, it is easier to encapsulate the call to sp_execute_exernal_script in another stored procedure.

  1. In Management Studio, open a new Query window.

  2. Run the following statement to create the stored procedure RxTrainLogitModel. This stored procedure defines the input data and uses rxLogit from RevoScaleR to create a logistic regression model.

    CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[RxTrainLogitModel] (@trained_model varbinary(max) OUTPUT)
      DECLARE @inquery nvarchar(max) = N'
        select tipped, fare_amount, passenger_count,trip_time_in_secs,trip_distance,
        pickup_datetime, dropoff_datetime,
        dbo.fnCalculateDistance(pickup_latitude, pickup_longitude,  dropoff_latitude, dropoff_longitude) as direct_distance
        from nyctaxi_sample
        tablesample (70 percent) repeatable (98052)
      EXEC sp_execute_external_script @language = N'R',
                                      @script = N'
    ## Create model
    logitObj <- rxLogit(tipped ~ passenger_count + trip_distance + trip_time_in_secs + direct_distance, data = InputDataSet)
    ## Serialize model 
    trained_model <- as.raw(serialize(logitObj, NULL));
      @input_data_1 = @inquery,
      @params = N'@trained_model varbinary(max) OUTPUT',
      @trained_model = @trained_model OUTPUT; 
    • To ensure that some data is left over to test the model, 70% of the data are randomly selected from the taxi data table for training purposes.

    • The SELECT query uses the custom scalar function fnCalculateDistance to calculate the direct distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations. The results of the query are stored in the default R input variable, InputDataset.

    • The R script calls the rxLogit function, which is one of the enhanced R functions included with R Services (In-Database), to create the logistic regression model.

      The binary variable tipped is used as the label or outcome column, and the model is fit using these feature columns: passenger_count, trip_distance, trip_time_in_secs, and direct_distance.

    • The trained model, saved in the R variable logitObj, is serialized and returned as an output parameter.

Train and deploy the R model using the stored procedure

Because the stored procedure already includes a definition of the input data, you don't need to provide an input query.

  1. To train and deploy the R model, call the stored procedure and insert it into the database table nyc_taxi_models, so that you can use it for future predictions:

    EXEC RxTrainLogitModel @model OUTPUT;
    INSERT INTO nyc_taxi_models (name, model) VALUES('RxTrainLogit_model', @model);
  2. Watch the Messages window of Management Studio for messages that would be piped to R's stdout stream, like this message:

    "STDOUT message(s) from external script: Rows Read: 1193025, Total Rows Processed: 1193025, Total Chunk Time: 0.093 seconds"

    You might also see messages specific to the individual function, rxLogit, displaying the variables and test metrics generated as part of model creation.

  3. When the statement has completed, open the table nyc_taxi_models. Processing of the data and fitting the model might take a while.

    You can see that one new row has been added, which contains the serialized model in the column model and the model name RxTrainLogit_model in the column name.

    model                        name
    ---------------------------- ------------------
    0x580A00000002000302020....  RxTrainLogit_model

In the next step you'll use the trained model to generate predictions.

Next lesson

Lesson 4: Predict potential outcomes using an R model in a stored procedure

Previous lesson

Lesson 2: Create data features using R and T-SQL functions