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Normal Equation in Linear Regression
Machine Learning

Normal Equation in Linear Regression

Last Updated on June 25, 2020 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Saniya Parveez

Machine Learning

Gradient descent is a very popular and first-order iterative optimization algorithm for finding a local minimum over a differential function. Similarly, the Normal Equation is another way of doing minimization. It does minimization without restoring to an iterative algorithm. Normal Equation method minimizes J by explicitly taking its derivatives concerning theta j and setting them to zero.


Below is a data-set to predict house price:

House Features:



import numpy as np
x = np.array([[1, 2104, 5, 1, 45],
[1, 1416, 3, 2, 40],
[1, 1534, 3, 2, 30],
[1, 852, 2, 1, 36]])
y = [460, 232, 315, 178]
x_transpose = x.transpose()
x_transpose_x =, x)
x_transpose_y =, y)
theta =, x_transpose_y)

Gradient Descent Vs Normal Equation

Gradient Descent

  • It requires to choose the value of Alpha.
  • It requires many iterations.
  • It works well when n (no. of data-set) is large.

Normal Equation

  • It does not need to choose the value of Alpha.
  • It doesn’t require iteration.
  • It requires to calculate the inverse of transpose of x.
  • It is slow if n (data-set) if very large.

Linear Regression with Normal Equation

Import libraries:

from numpy import genfromtxt
import numpy as np
from matplotlib import pyplot as plt
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from sklearn import linear_modl

Load the Portland data

data = genfromtxt('portland.csv', delimiter=',')

Feature extraction:

area = data[:, 0]
rooms =data[:, 1]
price = data[:, 2]

Visualize The Area against the Price:

def fitTheta(feature, theta):
return, feature)
def visualiseFeature(feature, featureLabel, thetaVal=None):
fig = plt.figure(figsize=(20, 10))

plt.rcParams.update({'font.size': 10})

plt.xlabel(featureLabel, fontsize=15)

plt.ylabel("Price", fontsize=15)

plt.scatter(feature, price, color="red", s=75)


thetaFit = fitTheta(feature, thetaVal)

plt.plot(feature, thetaFit)

Visualize the Number of Rooms against the Price of the House:

visualiseFeature(rooms, "Number of Rooms")

Here, the relationship between the Number of Rooms, and the Price of the House, appears to be Linear.

Define Feature Matrix, and Outcome/Target Vector:

X_data = data[:, 0:2] #Feature Matrix
y = data[:, 2] #Outcome Vector

Calculate Cost Function:

def getMSE(feature, thetaRange):
costMatrix = np.repeat(price, thetaRange.shape[0]).reshape(price.shape[0], thetaRange.shape[0])

costs =, np.asmatrix(thetaRange)) - costMatrix

MSE = (np.array((np.sum(costs, 0)))**2)/(2*price.shape[0])

return np.array(MSE)[0]

Visualize Cost Function:

def visualiseLoss(feature, featureName, startInterval, endInterval, stepSize=0.5, thetaVal=None):
thetaRange = np.arange(startInterval, endInterval, stepSize)

Loss = getMSE(feature, thetaRange)

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(20, 10))

plt.title("Loss Function for the Feature: {}".format(featureName), fontsize=25)

plt.ylabel("Cost Function, J(Θ)", fontsize=15)

plt.xlabel("Weight(s), Θ", fontsize=15)

plt.plot(thetaRange, Loss, zorder=1)


thetaLoss = getMSE(feature, np.array(thetaVal).reshape(1, 1))

plt.scatter(thetaVal, thetaLoss, marker="x", linewidth=5, color="red", s=200, zorder=2)

plt.annotate("Theta = {}".format(thetaVal), (thetaVal, thetaLoss), fontsize=25)
visualiseLoss(area, "Area", -500, 800)

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visualiseLoss(rooms, "Rooms", -40000, 250000)

Split Data

X_data = data[:, 0:2] #Feature Matrix
y = data[:, 2] #Outcome Vector
X = np.c_[np.ones(X_data.shape[0]), X_data]
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=0.2)

Normal Equation

firstTerm = np.linalg.inv(, X_train))
secondTerm =, y_train)
Theta =, secondTerm)


visualiseLoss(area, "Area", -500, 800, thetaVal=Theta[1])
visualiseFeature(area, "Area (Square Feet)", thetaVal=Theta[1])

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Prediction using Normal Equation theta value

normal_predictions =, Theta)

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Prediction using Linear Regression

reg = linear_model.LinearRegression(), y_train)
sk_predictions = reg.predict(X_test)

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Here, the predictions from the Normal Equation and Linear Equation are the same.

Normal Equation Non-Invertibility

A squared matrix that does not have an inverse a matrix is singular if and only if it is determined is zero.


import numpy as np
A = [[2, 6],
[1, 3]]

The inverse of Matrix:

inverse_A = np.linalg.inv(A)

Error from Numpy:

Add alt text


Problem due to Non-Invertibility:

  • Redundant features
  • Too many features

How to solve if there are too many features?

  • Delete some features of use Regularization


Gradient Descent gives one way to minimizing J. Normal Equation is another way of doing minimization. It does minimization without restoring to an iterative algorithm. But, Normal Equation is very slow if the data-set size is very large

Normal Equation in Linear Regression was originally published in Towards AI — Multidisciplinary Science Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Published via Towards AI

Comment (1)

  1. Roshan KumarYadav
    May 5, 2021

    Code below the dataset is incorrect and it doesnt work when we define the x_transpose_x_inverse

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