Session 5 Tutorial

Distributed Machine Learning: Using Gradient Boosting to Predict NDVI Dynamics

This page contains all the info you need to participate in Session 5 of the SCINet Geospatial Workshop 2020.

A note about running this tutorial in your home directory: some participants got errors either downloading to or running the tutorial from their home directory because they did not have enough space free in their home directory. If this happens to you, download to and run the tutorial from a project directory. If you are a new HPC user and don’t yet have a project directory, you can request a small increase in space to your home directory from the SCINet VRSC at

Learning Goals


Session Rules

How to Run the Tutorial on Ceres

View the Tutorial Online

Session Rules

GREEN LIGHT, RED LIGHT - Use the Zoom participant feedback indicators to show us if you are following along successfully as well as when you need help. To access participant feed back, click on the “Participants” icon to open the participants pane/window. Click the green “yes” to indicate that you are following along successfully, click the red “no” to indicate when you need help. Ideally, you will have either the red or green indicator displayed for yourself throughout the entire tutorial. We will pause every so often to work through solutions for participants displaying a red light.

CHAT QUESTIONS/COMMENTS TAKE FIRST PRIORITY - Chat your questions/comments either to everyone (preferred) or to the chat moderator (Rowan Gaffney) privately to have your question/comment read out loud anonamously. We will address chat questions/comments first and call on people who have written in the chat before we take questions from raised hands.

SHARE YOUR VIDEO WHEN SPEAKING - If your internet plan/connectivity allows, please share your video when speaking.

KEEP YOURSELF ON MUTE - Please mute yourself unless you are called on.

How to Run the Tutorial on Ceres

Step 1: Login to your SCINet/Ceres account through the JupyterHub web interface

After a few minutes, a JupyterLab instance running on the Ceres HPC should open in your browser. After several attempts, if the spawner fails and JupyterLab does not open correctly, please contact the SCINet Virtual Research Support Core (VRSC) for assistance at

Step 2: Copy the tutorial jupyter notebook file into your home directory

From inside JupyterLab File > New > Terminal to open a terminal tab.

At the command line

cp /project/shared_files/GEOSPATIAL_WORKSHOP/session5_machine_learning.ipynb .

Step 3: Run a notebook

View the Tutorial Online

If you are not running the tutorial on Ceres during the session you can view a static version of it at