21 open source python libraries

Python Libraries are a set of useful functions that eliminate the need for writing codes from scratch.

There are over 137,000 python libraries present today.

Python libraries play a vital role in developing machine learning, data science, data visualization, image and data manipulation applications and more. Let us start with a brief introduction to Python Programming Language and then directly dive into the most popular Python libraries.

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The probability that you must have heard of ‘Python’ is outright. Guido Van Rossum’s brainchild – Python, which dates back to the ’80s has become an avid game changer. It is one of the most popular coding languages today and is widely used for a gamut of applications. In this article, we have listed 34 Open Source Python Libraries you should know about.

What is a Library?

A library is a collection of pre-combined codes that can be used iteratively to reduce the time required to code. They are particularly useful for accessing the pre-written frequently used codes, instead of writing them from scratch every single time. Similar to the physical libraries, these are a collection of reusable resources, which means every library has a root source. This is the foundation behind the numerous open-source libraries available in Python. 

Before getting started, If you are a newbie to the domain of Python I recommend you to watch this video on How to use Python for data visualization and data analytics techniques.

Let’s Get Started!

1. Scikit- learn

It is a free software machine learning library for the Python programming language and can be effectively used for a variety of applications which include classification, regression, clustering, model selection, naive Bayes’, grade boosting, K-means, and preprocessing.
Scikit-learn requires:

  • Python (>= 2.7 or >= 3.3),
  • NumPy (>= 1.8.2),
  • SciPy (>= 0.13.3).
python libraries

Spotify uses Scikit-learn for its music recommendations and Evernote for building their classifiers. If you already have a working installation of numpy and scipy, the easiest way to install scikit-learn is using pip.

2. NuPIC

The Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing (NuPIC) is a platform which aims to implement an HTM learning algorithm and make them public source as well. It is the foundation for future machine learning algorithms based on the biology of the neocortex. Click here to check their code on GitHub.

3. Ramp

It is a Python library which is used for rapid prototyping of machine learning models. Ramp provides a simple, declarative syntax for exploring features, algorithms, and transformations. It is a lightweight pandas-based machine learning framework and can be used seamlessly with existing python machine learning and statistics tools.

4. NumPy

21 open source python libraries you should know

When it comes to scientific computing, NumPy is one of the fundamental packages for Python providing support for large multidimensional arrays and matrices along with a collection of high-level mathematical functions to execute these functions swiftly. NumPy relies on BLAS and LAPACK for efficient linear algebra computations. NumPy can also be used as an efficient multi-dimensional container of generic data.

The various NumPy installation packages can be found here.

5. Pipenv

The officially recommended tool for Python in 2017 – Pipenv is a production-ready tool that aims to bring the best of all packaging worlds to the Python world. The cardinal purpose is to provide users with a working environment which is easy to set up. Pipenv, the “Python Development Workflow for Humans” was created by Kenneth Reitz for managing package discrepancies. The instructions to install Pipenv can be found here.

6. TensorFlow

Python Libraries

The most popular deep learning framework, TensorFlow is an open-source software library for high-performance numerical computation. It is an iconic math library and is also used for machine learning and deep learning algorithms. Tensorflow was developed by the researchers at the Google Brain team within Google AI organisation, and today it is being used by researchers for machine learning algorithms, and by physicists for complex mathematical computations. The following operating systems support TensorFlow: macOS 10.12.6 (Sierra) or later; Ubuntu 16.04 or later; Windows 7 or above; Raspbian 9.0 or later.

Do check out our Free Course on Tensorflow and Keras. This course will introduce you to these two frameworks and will also walk you through a demo of how to use these frameworks.

7. Bob

Developed at Idiap Research Institute in Switzerland, Bob is a free signal processing and machine learning toolbox. The toolbox is written in a mix of Python and C++. From image recognition to image and video processing using machine learning algorithms, a large number of packages are available in Bob to make all of this happen with great efficiency in a short time.

8. PyTorch

Introduced by Facebook in 2017, PyTorch is a Python package which gives the user a blend of 2 high-level features – Tensor computation (like NumPy) with strong GPU acceleration and developing Deep Neural Networks on a tape-based auto diff system. PyTorch provides a great platform to execute Deep Learning models with increased flexibility and speed built to be integrated deeply with Python.

9. PyBrain

21 Open Source Python Libraries you should know

PyBrain contains algorithms for neural networks that can be used by entry-level students yet can be used for state-of-the-art research. The goal is to offer simple, flexible yet sophisticated and powerful algorithms for machine learning with many pre-determined environments to test and compare your algorithms. Researchers, students, developers, lecturers, you and me – we can all use PyBrain.

10. MILK

This machine learning toolkit in Python focuses on supervised classification with a gamut of classifiers available: SVM, k-NN, random forests, decision trees. A range of combination of these classifiers gives different classification systems. For unsupervised learning, one can use k-means clustering and affinity propagation. There is a strong emphasis on speed and low memory usage. Therefore, most of the performance-sensitive code is in C++. Read more about it here.

11. Keras

It is an open-source neural network library written in Python designed to enable fast experimentation with deep neural networks. With deep learning becoming ubiquitous, Keras becomes the ideal choice as it is API designed for humans and not machines according to the creators. With over 200,000 users as of November 2017, Keras has stronger adoption in both the industry and the research community even over TensorFlow or Theano. Before installing Keras, it is advised to install TensorFlow backend engine.

12. Dash

From exploring data to monitoring your experiments, Dash is like the frontend to the analytical Python backend. This productive Python framework is ideal for data visualization apps particularly suited for every Python user. The ease which we experience is a result of extensive and exhaustive effort.

13. Pandas

python libraries

It is an open-source, BSD licensed library. Pandas enable the provision of easy data structure and quicker data analysis for Python. For operations like data analysis and modelling, Pandas makes it possible to carry these out without needing to switch to more domain-specific language like R. The best way to install Pandas is by Conda installation.

14. Scipy

This is yet another open-source software used for scientific computing in Python. Apart from that, Scipy is also used for Data Computation, productivity, and high-performance computing and quality assurance. The various installation packages can be found here. The core Scipy packages are Numpy, SciPy library, Matplotlib, IPython, Sympy, and Pandas.

15. Matplotlib

python libraries

All the libraries that we have discussed are capable of a gamut of numeric operations but when it comes to dimensional plotting, Matplotlib steals the show. This open-source library in Python is widely used for publication of quality figures in a variety of hard copy formats and interactive environments across platforms. You can design charts, graphs, pie charts, scatterplots, histograms, error charts, etc. with just a few lines of code.

The various installation packages can be found here.

16. Theano

This open-source library enables you to define, optimize, and evaluate mathematical expressions involving multi-dimensional arrays efficiently. For a humongous volume of data, handcrafted C codes become slower. Theano enables swift implementations of code. Theano can recognise unstable expressions and yet compute them with stable algorithms which gives it an upper hand over NumPy. Follow the link to read more about Theano. The closest Python package to Theano is Sympy. So let us talk about it.

17. SymPy

For all the symbolic mathematics, SymPy is the answer. This Python library for symbolic mathematics is an effective aid for computer algebra system (CAS) while keeping the code as simple as possible to be comprehensible and easily extensible. SimPy is written in Python only and can be embedded in other applications and extended with custom functions. You can find the source code on GitHub. 

18. Caffe2

The new boy in town – Caffe2 is a Lightweight, Modular, and Scalable Deep Learning Framework. It aims to provide an easy and straightforward way for you to experiment with deep learning. Thanks to Python and C++ API’s in Caffe2, we can create our prototype now and optimize later. You can get started with Caffe2 now with this step-by-step installation guide.

19. Seaborn

When it comes to visualisation of statistical models like heat maps, Seaborn is among the reliable sources. This Python library is derived from Matplotlib and closely integrated with Pandas data structures. Visit the installation page to see how this package can be installed.

20. Hebel

This Python library is a tool for deep learning with neural networks using GPU acceleration with CUDA through pyCUDA. Right now, Hebel implements feed-forward neural networks for classification and regression on one or multiple tasks. Other models such as Autoencoder, Convolutional neural nets, and Restricted Boltzman machines are planned for the future. Follow the link to explore Hebel.

21. Chainer

A competitor to Hebel, this Python package aims at increasing the flexibility of deep learning models. The three key focus areas of chainer include :
a. Transportation system: The makers of Chainer have consistently shown an inclination towards automatic driving cars and they have been in talks with Toyota Motors about the same.

b. Manufacturing industry: From object recognition to optimization, Chainer has been used effectively for robotics and several machine learning tools.

c. Bio-health care: To deal with the severity of cancer, the makers of Chainer have invested in research of various medical images for early diagnosis of cancer cells.
The installation, projects and other details can be found here.
So here is a list of the common Python Libraries which are worth taking a peek at and if possible familiarizing yourself with. If you feel there is some library which deserves to be in the list do not forget to mention it in the comments.

22. OpenCV Python

Open Source Computer Vision or OpenCV is used for image processing. It is a Python package that monitors overall functions focused on instant computer vision. OpenCV provides several inbuilt functions, with the help of this you can learn Computer Vision. It allows both read and write images at the same time. Objects such as faces, trees, etc., can be diagnosed in any video or image. It is compatible with Windows, OS-X, and other operating systems. You can get it here

23. Theano

Along with being a Python Library, Theano is also an optimizing compiler. It is used for analyzing, describing, and optimising different mathematical declarations at the same time. It makes use of multi-dimensional arrays, ensuring that we don’t have to worry about the perfection of our projects. Theano works well with GPUs and has an interface quite similar to Numpy. The library makes computation 140x faster and can be used to detect and analyze any harmful bugs. You can get it here

24. NLTK

Natural Language toolkit or NLTK is said to be one among the popular Python NLP Libraries. It contains a set of processing libraries that provide processing solutions for numerical and symbolic language processing in English only. The toolkit comes with a dynamic discussion forum that allows you to discuss and bring up any issues relating to NLTK. You can get it here.

25. SQLAlchemy

SQLAcademy is a Database abstraction library for Python that comes with astounding support for a range of databases and layouts. It provides consistent patterns, is easy to understand and can be used by beginners too. It improves the speed of communication between Python language and databases, and supports most platforms such as Python 2.5, Jython, and Pypy. Using SQLAcademy, you can develop database schemes from scratch. Get it here

26. Bokeh

A Data Visualisation library for Python, Bokeh allows interactive visualisation. It makes use of HTML and Javascript to provide graphics, making it reliable for contributing web-based applications. It is highly flexible and allows you to convert visualisation written in other libraries such as ggplot or matplotlib. Bokeh makes use of straight-forward commands to create composite statistical scenarios. Get Bokeh here

Important Python Libraries for Data Science

Contributed by: Shveta Rajpal
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shveta-rajpal-0030b59b/

Here’s a list of interesting and important Python Libraries that will be helpful for all Data Scientists out there. So, let’s start with 20 most important libraries used in Python-

Scrapy- It is a collaborative framework for extracting the data that is required from websites. It is a quite simple and fast tool.

BeautifulSoup- This is another popular library that is used in Python for extracting or collecting information from websites i.e. it is used for web-scraping.

StatsModels- As the name suggests, Statsmodels is a Python library that provides many opportunities, such as statistical model analysis and estimation, performing statistical tests, etc. It has a function for statistical analysis to achieve high-performance outcomes while processing large statistical data sets.

XGBoost- This library is implemented in machine learning algorithms under the Gradient Boosting framework. It provides high-performance implementation of gradient boosted decision trees. XGBoost is portable, flexible, and efficient. It provides highly optimised, scalable and fast implementations of gradient boosting.

Plotly-This library is used for plotting graphs easily. This works very well in interactive web applications. With this, we can make different types of basic charts like line, pie, scatter, heat maps, polar plots and so on. Whatever visualisation we can think of, we can easily plot a graph of it using Plotly.

Pydot- Pydot is used for generating complex oriented and non-oriented graphs. It is specially used while developing algorithms based on neural networks and decision trees.

Gensim It is a Python library for topic modelling, document indexing, which means it is able to extract the underlying topics from a large volume of text. It can handle large text files without loading the entire file in memory.

PyOD- As the name suggests, it is a Python toolkit for detecting outliers in multivariate data. It provides access to a wide range of outlier detection algorithms. Outlier detection, also known as anomaly detection, refers to the identification of rare items, events or observations which differ from the general distribution of a population.

Other libraries that are popular in Data Science domain are:

  • Numpy
  • Scipy
  • Pandas
  • Matplotlib
  • Seaborn
  • Bokeh
  • Scikit-Learn
  • Tensorflow
  • Keras
  • Pytorch
  • Theano
  • NLTK

This brings us to the end of the blog on the top Python Libraries. We hope that you benefit from the same. If you have any further queries, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.

Further reading

  1. What is TensorFlow? The Machine Learning Library Explained
  2. Scikit Learn in Machine Learning, Definition and Example
  3. Machine Learning Tutorial For Complete Beginners | Learn Machine Learning with Python
  4. Data Science Tutorial For Beginners | Learn Data Science Complete Tutorial
  5. Python Tutorial For Beginners – A Complete Guide | Learn Python Easily



  1. Well… consider yourself added to my blogroll. I have like six other blogs I read on a weekly basis, guess that number just increased to seven! Keep writing!


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