Whilst installing the competition toolbox should be a simple process, there are some problems you might fall into. In this guide, you will find step by step instructions for installing the toolbox. The examples use the toolbox for the Quant Quest III practice competition, but the same applies to all toolbox’s – just change the name.

At the bottom of the page, you can find some common toolbox problems and their fix.

Installing the Toolbox

Step One: Read the download instructions

Rather obviously, the first step is to read the download instructions for the competition you are joining. This will give you the competition-specific information, including any changes that may have occurred.

Screen Capture of QQIII P1 Downloads Page

The key information we need here is the pip commands in red. For this competition, the toolbox is called “auquan-qq1-toolbox”. We can see that it also includes instructions on how to install via pip – which is what we’re going to do.

Newer competitions will also include a link to a text file called requirements.txt that will speed up the install process. You can download it here from that link and we’ll explain how to use it below.

Step two: Installing the toolbox with pip

To install the toolbox we’re going to use a package handler called pip. It’s pretty common, so we’re expecting most people to have at least heard of it. If you haven’t don’t worry, just take a second now to install pip using this guide on their website.

If you’re unsure if you have pip installed already you can always run the following command in your console to check: pip -h

For the next step, you’re going to have to open your console and type the pip command given in the downloads section of your competition. In this competition it is: pip install --user auquan-qq1-toolbox

Toolbox being installed via pip

After pip has finished this process, you should have a fully installed toolbox. You can check this by running the problem template file, either from the console or by opening it in an IDE. If everything has worked you should see the template file start to run without any errors.

Template file running with a working installation of toolbox

Whilst this approach should work, recent changes to pip have made it rather fragile and prone to errors. We recommend that you also complete the following ‘requirements.txt’ step, regardless of if you got an error or not.

Common Issues

The most common error that users face occurs when pip fails to install one (or all) of the required dependencies for the toolbox. This should cause the toolbox installation to fail, but in some cases, this doesn’t happen.

If you try and run the template file in this state, you will get an error similar to the following:

Template file error with a faulty installation of toolbox (console)
Template file error with a faulty installation of toolbox (Spyder)

In both these cases, reading the error output will tell us an error in the following format:

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named '[Missing Module]'

The specific module that will be cited may change from template file to template file. It is often ‘Backtester’ or ‘Plotly’.

Using the requirements.txt file

The easiest way to fix any problems with the toolbox installation is to use the requirements.txt file, linked above (and here), to manually install all the required packages in one go.

To do this, first, navigate to the folder that contains the requirements.txt file (likely you default downloads folder). Then type the following command:

pip install -r requirements.txt

When you run this you should see:

Pip requirements.txt installation

This command will cause pip to go line by line in the requirements.txt file and install each dependency as we’ve specified.

Once you’ve done this step, repeat the toolbox installation to double-check that everything’s running correctly:

pip install [competition toolbox] --user

Hopefully, you get a long output of already satisfied notifications like this:

Toolbox installation after requirements.txt

You should now good to go. If you experience any issues, the quickest place to get help is to post in the competition discussion.


David

I'm the community lead at Auquan. Feel free to message me if you get into any problems. A fun fact about me is I actually studied medicine at university.

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