Feature Transformation – FeatureHasher (Transformer)




Feature Transformation – FeatureHasher (Transformer)


  input_cols = NULL, 
  output_col = NULL, 
  num_features = 2^18, 
  categorical_cols = NULL, 
  uid = random_string("feature_hasher_"), 


Arguments Description
x A spark_connection, ml_pipeline, or a tbl_spark.
input_cols Names of input columns.
output_col Name of output column.
num_features Number of features. Defaults to \(list("2^18")\).
categorical_cols Numeric columns to treat as categorical features. By default only string and boolean columns are treated as categorical, so this param can be used to explicitly specify the numerical columns to treat as categorical.
uid A character string used to uniquely identify the feature transformer.
Optional arguments; currently unused.


Feature hashing projects a set of categorical or numerical features into a feature vector of specified dimension (typically substantially smaller than that of the original feature space). This is done using the hashing trick https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_hashing to map features to indices in the feature vector.

The FeatureHasher transformer operates on multiple columns. Each column may contain either numeric or categorical features. Behavior and handling of column data types is as follows: -Numeric columns: For numeric features, the hash value of the column name is used to map the feature value to its index in the feature vector. By default, numeric features are not treated as categorical (even when they are integers). To treat them as categorical, specify the relevant columns in categoricalCols. -String columns: For categorical features, the hash value of the string “column_name=value” is used to map to the vector index, with an indicator value of 1.0. Thus, categorical features are “one-hot” encoded (similarly to using OneHotEncoder with drop_last=FALSE). -Boolean columns: Boolean values are treated in the same way as string columns. That is, boolean features are represented as “column_name=true” or “column_name=false”, with an indicator value of 1.0.

Null (missing) values are ignored (implicitly zero in the resulting feature vector).

The hash function used here is also the MurmurHash 3 used in HashingTF. Since a simple modulo on the hashed value is used to determine the vector index, it is advisable to use a power of two as the num_features parameter; otherwise the features will not be mapped evenly to the vector indices.


The object returned depends on the class of x.

  • spark_connection: When x is a spark_connection, the function returns a ml_transformer, a ml_estimator, or one of their subclasses. The object contains a pointer to a Spark Transformer or Estimator object and can be used to compose Pipeline objects.

  • ml_pipeline: When x is a ml_pipeline, the function returns a ml_pipeline with the transformer or estimator appended to the pipeline.

  • tbl_spark: When x is a tbl_spark, a transformer is constructed then immediately applied to the input tbl_spark, returning a tbl_spark

See Also

See https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/ml-features.html for more information on the set of transformations available for DataFrame columns in Spark.

Other feature transformers: ft_binarizer(), ft_bucketizer(), ft_chisq_selector(), ft_count_vectorizer(), ft_dct(), ft_elementwise_product(), ft_hashing_tf(), ft_idf(), ft_imputer(), ft_index_to_string(), ft_interaction(), ft_lsh, ft_max_abs_scaler(), ft_min_max_scaler(), ft_ngram(), ft_normalizer(), ft_one_hot_encoder_estimator(), ft_one_hot_encoder(), ft_pca(), ft_polynomial_expansion(), ft_quantile_discretizer(), ft_r_formula(), ft_regex_tokenizer(), ft_robust_scaler(), ft_sql_transformer(), ft_standard_scaler(), ft_stop_words_remover(), ft_string_indexer(), ft_tokenizer(), ft_vector_assembler(), ft_vector_indexer(), ft_vector_slicer(), ft_word2vec()