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Aman A.Software Engineer, India
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Autodidact. Sailing different boats. Finding the right boat to travel the vast waters of Computer Science.
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What is customer service?

Customer service is the support you offer your customers before and after they purchase and use your products or services that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. Offering amazing customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business. Today’s customer service goes far beyond the traditional telephone support agent. It’s available via email, web, text message, and social media. Many companies additionally provide self-service support, so customers can find their own answers at any time day or night. Customer support is more than just providing answers, it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers.

How to hire customer service agent?

Whether you’re hiring a lot of customer service representative to scale your customer support team to satisfy new business demands or need specialists in different time zones to handle calls or requests that come through outside of your local peak hours, it’s imperative your new talent understands your company and your customer after all, they’ll be the voice of your company. The success of your representative starts with how well you write the project description and ends with asking all the right questions in an interview.

Why are you hiring a customer service agents?

It’s important to provide the most effective customer service to ensure that your customers receive the optimal experience. In many cases, customer service reps are the face of the brand. They are the people your customers will have the most contact with, so you need to hire the most effective possible talent. Customer Service Agents on Toogit are highly skilled and talented. Hiring freelance Customer Service Agents on Toogit is quite affordable as compared to a full-time employee and you can save up to 50% in business cost by hiring Freelance Customer Service Agents on Toogit.

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Optimization deals with selecting the simplest option among a number of possible choices that are feasible or do not violate constraints. Python is used to optimize parameters in a model to best fit data, increase profitability of a possible engineering style, or meet another form of objective which will be described mathematically with variables and equations.

 

pyOpt is a Python-based package for formulating and solving nonlinear constrained optimization problems in an efficient, reusable and portable manner. Python programming uses object-oriented concepts, such as class inheritance and operator overloading, to maintain a distinct separation between the problem formulation and the optimization approach used to solve the problem.

 

All optimisation downside solvers inherit from the Optimizer abstract category. The category attributes include the solver name (name), an optimizer kind symbol (category), and dictionaries that contain the solver setup parameters (options) and message output settings (informs). The class provides ways to check and alter default solver parameters (getOption, setOption), as well as a method that runs the solver for a given optimisation problem (solve).

 

Optimization solver

A number of constrained optimization solvers are designed to solve the general nonlinear optimization problem.

  1. PSQP: This optimizer is a preconditioned sequential quadratic programming algorithm. This optimizer implements a sequential quadratic programming method with a BFGS variable metric update.
  2. SLSQP: This optimizer is a sequential least squares programming algorithm. SLSQP uses the Han–Powell quasi-Newton method with a BFGS update of the B-matrix and an L1-test function in the step-length algorithm. The optimizer uses a slightly modified version of Lawson and Hanson’s NNLS nonlinear least-squares solver.
  3. CONMIN: This optimizer implements the method of feasible directions. CONMIN solves the nonlinear programming problem by moving from one feasible point to an improved one by choosing at each iteration a feasible direction and step size that improves the objective function.
  4. COBYLA: It is an implementation of Powell’s nonlinear derivative–free constrained optimization that uses a linear approximation approach. The algorithm is a sequential trust–region algorithm that employs linear approximations to the objective and constraint functions.
  5. SOLVOPT: SOLVOPT is a modified version of Shor’s r–algorithm with space dilation to find a local minimum of nonlinear and non–smooth problems.
  6. KSOPT: This code reformulates the constrained problem into an unconstrained one using a composite Kreisselmeier–Steinhauser objective function to create an envelope of the objective function and set of constraints. The envelope function is then optimized using a sequential unconstrained minimization technique.
  7. NSGA2: This optimizer is a non-dominating sorting genetic algorithm that solves non-convex and non-smooth single and multiobjective optimization problems.
  8. ALGENCAN: It solves the general non-linear constrained optimization problem without resorting to the use of matrix manipulations. It uses instead an Augmented Lagrangian approach which is able to solve extremely large problems with moderate computer time.
  9. FILTERSD: It use of a Ritz values approach Linear Constraint Problem solver. Second derivatives and storage of an approximate reduced Hessian matrix is avoided using a limited memory spectral gradient approach based on Ritz values.

 

To solve an optimization problem with pyOpt an optimizer must be initialized. The initialization of one or more optimizers is independent of the initialization of any number of optimization problems. To initialize SLSQP, which is an open-source, sequential least squares programming algorithm that comes as part of the pyOpt package, use:

>>> slsqp = pyOpt.SLSQP()

This initializes an instance of SLSQP with the default options. The setOption method can be used to change any optimizer specific option, for example the internal output flag of SLSQP:

>>> slsqp.setOption('IPRINT', -1)

Now Schittkowski’s constrained problem can be solved using SLSQP and for example, pyOpt’s automatic finite difference for the gradients:

>>> [fstr, xstr, inform] = slsqp(opt_prob,sens_type='FD')

By default, the solution information of an optimizer is also stored in the specific optimization problem. To output solution to the screen one can use:

>>> print opt_prob.solution(0)

 

Example:

The problem is taken from the set of nonlinear programming examples by Hock and Schittkowski and it is defined as

=======================================================================

      min            − x1x2x3

     x1,x2,x3

 

subjected to     x1 + 2x2 + 2x3 − 72 ≤ 0

                        − x1 − 2x2 − 2x3 ≤ 0

 

                        0 ≤ x1 ≤ 42

                        0 ≤ x2 ≤ 42

                        0 ≤ x3 ≤ 42

 

The optimum of this problem is at (x1∗ , x2∗ , x3* ) = (24, 12, 12), with an objective function value of f ∗ = −3456, and constraint values g (x∗ ) = (0, −72).

 

#======================================================================

# Standard Python modules

#======================================================================

import os, sys, time

import pdb

#======================================================================

# Extension modules

#======================================================================

#from pyOpt import *

from pyOpt import Optimization

from pyOpt import PSQP

from pyOpt import SLSQP

from pyOpt import CONMIN

from pyOpt import COBYLA

from pyOpt import SOLVOPT

from pyOpt import KSOPT

from pyOpt import NSGA2

from pyOpt import ALGENCAN

from pyOpt import FILTERSD

 

#======================================================================

def objfunc(x):

   

    f = -x[0]*x[1]*x[2]

    g = [0.0]*2

    g[0] = x[0] + 2.*x[1] + 2.*x[2] - 72.0

    g[1] = -x[0] - 2.*x[1] - 2.*x[2]

   

    fail = 0

    return f,g, fail  

 

#======================================================================

# Instantiate Optimization Problem

opt_prob = Optimization('Hock and Schittkowski Constrained Problem',objfunc)

opt_prob.addVar('x1','c',lower=0.0,upper=42.0,value=10.0)

opt_prob.addVar('x2','c',lower=0.0,upper=42.0,value=10.0)

opt_prob.addVar('x3','c',lower=0.0,upper=42.0,value=10.0)

opt_prob.addObj('f')

opt_prob.addCon('g1','i')

opt_prob.addCon('g2','i')

print opt_prob

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (PSQP) & Solve Problem

psqp = PSQP()

psqp.setOption('IPRINT',0)

psqp(opt_prob,sens_type='FD')

print opt_prob.solution(0)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (SLSQP) & Solve Problem

slsqp = SLSQP()

slsqp.setOption('IPRINT',-1)

slsqp(opt_prob,sens_type='FD')

print opt_prob.solution(1)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (CONMIN) & Solve Problem

conmin = CONMIN()

conmin.setOption('IPRINT',0)

conmin(opt_prob,sens_type='CS')

print opt_prob.solution(2)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (COBYLA) & Solve Problem

cobyla = COBYLA()

cobyla.setOption('IPRINT',0)

cobyla(opt_prob)

print opt_prob.solution(3)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (SOLVOPT) & Solve Problem

solvopt = SOLVOPT()

solvopt.setOption('iprint',-1)

solvopt(opt_prob,sens_type='FD')

print opt_prob.solution(4)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (KSOPT) & Solve Problem

ksopt = KSOPT()

ksopt.setOption('IPRINT',0)

ksopt(opt_prob,sens_type='FD')

print opt_prob.solution(5)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (NSGA2) & Solve Problem

nsga2 = NSGA2()

nsga2.setOption('PrintOut',0)

nsga2(opt_prob)

print opt_prob.solution(6)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (ALGENCAN) & Solve Problem

algencan = ALGENCAN()

algencan.setOption('iprint',0)

algencan(opt_prob)

print opt_prob.solution(7)

 

# Instantiate Optimizer (FILTERSD) & Solve Problem

filtersd = FILTERSD()

filtersd.setOption('iprint',0)

filtersd(opt_prob)

print opt_prob.solution(8)

 

Solving non-linear global optimization problems could be tedious task sometimes. If the problem is not that complex then general purpose solvers could work. However, as the complexity of problem increases, general purpose global optimizers start to take time. That is when need to create your problem specific fast and direct global optimizer’s need arises.

 

We have an specialized team with PHD holders and coders to design and develop customized global optimizers. If you need help with one, please feel free to send your queries to us.

 

We first understand the problem and data by visualizing it. After that we create a solution to your needs.

 

Please do read to understand what a solver is and how it works - If you want to create your own simple solver. This is not exactly how every solver works, however, this will give you a pretty solid idea of what is a solver and how it is supposed to work.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence powered piece of software in a device, application, web site or alternative networks that try to complete consumer’s needs and then assist them to perform a selected task. Now a days almost every company has a chatbot deployed to interact with the users.

 

Chatbots are often used in many departments, businesses and every environment. They are artificial narrow intelligence (ANI). Chatbots only do a restricted quantity of task i.e. as per their design. However, these Chatbots make our lives easier and convenient. The trend of Chatbots is growing rapidly between businesses and entrepreneurs, and are willing to bring chatbots to their sites. You might also produce it yourself using Python.

 

How do chatbots work?

There are broadly two variants of chatbotsRule-Based and Self learning.

  1. In a Rule-based approach, a bot answers questions based on some rules on that it is trained on. The rules outlined could be very easy to very complicated. The bots will handle easy queries but fail to manage complicated ones.
  2. The Self learning bots are those that use some Machine Learning-based approaches and are positively a lot of economical than rule-based bots. These bots may be of additional two types: Retrieval based or Generative.
    1. In retrieval-based models, Chatbot uses the message and context of conversation for selecting the best response from a predefined list of bot messages.
    2. Generative bots can generate the answers and not always reply with one of the answers from a set of answers. This makes them more intelligent as they take word by word from the query and generates the answers.

 

Building a chatbot using Python

NLP:

The field of study that focuses on the interactions between human language and computers is called Natural Language Processing. NLP is a way for computers to analyze, understand, and derive meaning from human language in a smart and useful way. However, if you are new to NLP, you can read Natural Language Processing in Python.

 

NLTK:

NLTK (Natural Language Toolkit) is a leading platform for building Python programs to work with human language data. It provides easy-to-use lexical resources such as WordNet, along with a suite of text processing libraries.

 

Importing necessary libraries

import nltk 

import numpy as np 

import random 

import string # to process standard python strings

 

Copy the content in text file named ‘chatbot.txt’, read in the text file and convert the entire file content into a list of sentences and a list of words for further pre-processing.

 

f=open('chatbot.txt','r',errors = 'ignore')

raw=f.read()

raw=raw.lower()# converts to lowercase

nltk.download('punkt') # first-time use only

nltk.download('wordnet') # first-time use only

sent_tokens = nltk.sent_tokenize(raw)# converts to list of sentences 

word_tokens = nltk.word_tokenize(raw)# converts to list of words

 

Pre-processing the raw text

We shall now define a function called LemTokens which will take as input the tokens and return normalized tokens.

 

lemmer = nltk.stem.WordNetLemmatizer()

#WordNet is a semantically-oriented dictionary of English included in NLTK.

def LemTokens(tokens):     

return [lemmer.lemmatize(token) for token in tokens]

remove_punct_dict = dict((ord(punct), None) for punct in string.punctuation) 

def LemNormalize(text):     

return LemTokens(nltk.word_tokenize(text.lower().translate(remove_punct_dict)))

 

Keyword matching

Define a function for greeting by bot i.e. if user’s input is greeting, the bot shall return a greeting response.

GREETING_INPUTS = ("hello", "hi", "greetings", "sup", "what's up","hey",)

GREETING_RESPONSES = ["hi", "hey", "*nods*", "hi there", "hello", "I am glad! You are talking to me"]

def greeting(sentence):

for word in sentence.split():

if word.lower() in GREETING_INPUTS:

return random.choice(GREETING_RESPONSES)

 

Generate responses

To generate a response from our bot for input queries, the concept of document similarity is used. Therefore, we start by importing necessary modules.

From scikit learn library, import the TFidf vector to convert a collection of raw documents to a matrix of TF-IDF features

from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import TfidfVectorizer

Also, import cosine similarity module from scikit learn library

from sklearn.metrics.pairwise import cosine_similarity

This will be used to find the similarity between words entered by the user and therefore the words within the corpus. This can be the simplest possible implementation of a chatbot.

Define a function response that searches the user’s vocalization for one or more known keywords and returns one of several possible responses. If it doesn’t find the input matching any of the keywords, it returns a response: “I’m sorry! I don’t understand you”

 

def response(user_response):

robo_response=''

sent_tokens.append(user_response)

TfidfVec = TfidfVectorizer(tokenizer=LemNormalize, stop_words='english')

tfidf = TfidfVec.fit_transform(sent_tokens)

vals = cosine_similarity(tfidf[-1], tfidf)

idx=vals.argsort()[0][-2]

flat = vals.flatten()

flat.sort()

req_tfidf = flat[-2]

if(req_tfidf==0):

robo_response=robo_response+"I am sorry! I don't understand you"

return robo_response

else:  robo_response = robo_response+sent_tokens[idx]

return robo_response

 

I have tried to explain in simple steps how you can build your own chatbot using NLTK and of course it’s not an intelligent one.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading.

Happy Learning!!!

A virtual assistant (VA) is a professional who provides administrative and support gigs. These can range from invoicing clients on a regular basis to managing a one-time project. Thanks to the wonders of email, instant messaging, conference calls, and video chat, your virtual assistant works remotely—he or she could be on the other side of the country, or even in another country—which means you don’t have to worry about finding additional office space.

 

Working from home, on your set schedule, from your own comfort, and earn more is not always as glamorous as it might seem. Becoming a Virtual Assistant it requires time and patience, along with some smart work. 

 

Assuming that you are clear with the basics of Virtual Assistant profession and know about the resources to find a Virtual Assistant services, let’s move on to how you can be more effective working as a Virtual Assistant.

 

How to become an Efficient Virtual Assistant?

Being an top professional Virtual Assistant is not rocket science and could be mastered with a little effort and patience. Given the high competition for these jobs, you need to stand out from your competition to land higher paying services.

 

Which basic skills make me a top virtual assistant?

Before you go on your virtual assistant journey, It is mandatory to make sure that you possess all the basic skills required. An ideal and successful virtual assistant would be on par with the basic skill-set required.

 

So do you think you have a good hold on the basic skills? Let’s go through a few basic skills expected by each client. Develope these skills and get hired today:

 

Comfortable with using Windows / Mac.

 

More than 45 words per minute.

 

Know how to use Internet and emailing.

 

Know the basics of social media marketing.

 

Have a good time and resource management skills.

 

Have a good understanding of newsletter creation.

 

Smartness

 

What should I do first to play experienced virtual assistant role?

 

Since 2007, virtual assistance has become a very in-demand field, and is seeing steady growth each year. With the numbers in mind, and the growing rate of business done online, it is no surprise that several virtual assistance companies have been born. These companies hire men and women from all across the world to work remotely and offer their clients the online support they need.

 

This is very good news for the brand new virtual assistant, because it means there are options for you to get a steady stream of work, steady paychecks, and professional support and training in the field. You can become a strong assistant very quickly, and then decide if you’d like to move up in the company or branch out on your own. Just be sure never to sign a non-compete agreement if you plan to eventually go it alone.

 

Learn about the basic ideas for the following term:

Customer Support

Processing Online Orders

Wordpress Maintainance

Keyword Research

Content Research

Email Management

 

Must have required tools for being a good virtual assistant

A right tool-set is a power in the hands of VA to build a legacy out of nothing. Make sure you have got nothing but the best tools before you jump in the market to play a solid role of virtual assistant.

A phone (cell or landline)

A good computer/laptop that works perfectly.

At least two up to date browsers.

A good email client.

Skype or other chat software.

A good speed Internet connection.

A perfect reminder device which tells or update you about your upcoming challenges.

These are just the basic tools required, and most of the people would mostly satisfy the criteria.

 

Can I work on fixed schedule as a Freelance Virtual Assistant

No matter you work locally or remotely, nothing is going to work for you if you neglect the importance of a fixed schedule. Although virtual assistant allows you flexibility from your home office, that doesn’t mean you wake up suddenly at the wake of the night and start working.

 

Make a habit of working during the same hours of the day, every day. You don’t need a 9-5 schedule, but a schedule is a must to get the most out of your work. Make a schedule as per the times when you are at your best with least distractions and day in day out, work during the same hours.

 

What strategy need to build?

If having a plan is good, having a plan B is a must. So, for every plan that you make, have an alternative plan ready to execute. Things might not always work out the way you planned them to, so having a backup plan will help you in the long run.

Build a strategy of how many hours you’re willing to work,

Where you’re going to work,

What about your taxes,

You should continue making a plan, and you will end up with more questions to be answered even before you accept your first service.

 

How to satisfy my customer’s as a virtual assistant?

Deliver more: When was the last time you over delivered and your customer couldn’t stop singing your songs? For customers to sing your song you need to provide that rare high-quality service. So it’s always good to deliver more, surprise your customers and keep them happy.

 

Don’t always do everything to earn more and at least sometimes do for the love of it. I love making people happy and go the extra mile to deliver more than anyone expects. Go out of your way to leave a legacy in whatever you do. Make people remember you for what you’ve done rather than as a man who’s always bugging about the next paycheck.

 

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