Deep neural networks have been extremely successful at various image, speech, video recognition tasks because of their ability to model deep structures within the data. However, they are still prohibitively expensive to train and apply for problems containing millions of classes in the output layer. Based on the observation that the key computation common to most neural network layers is a vector/matrix product, we propose a fast locality-sensitive hashing technique to approximate the actual dot product enabling us to scale up the training and inference to millions of output classes. We evaluate our technique on three diverse large-scale recognition tasks and show that our approach can train large-scale models at a faster rate (in terms of steps/total time) compared to baseline methods.

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Distributed training of deep learning models on large-scale training data is typically conducted with asynchronous stochastic optimization to maximize the rate of updates, at the cost of additional noise introduced from asynchrony. In contrast, the synchronous approach is often thought to be impractical due to idle time wasted on waiting for straggling workers. We revisit these conventional beliefs in this paper, and examine the weaknesses of both approaches. We demonstrate that a third approach, synchronous optimization with backup workers, can avoid asynchronous noise while mitigating for the worst stragglers. Our approach is empirically validated and shown to converge faster and to better test accuracies.

* 10 pages
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Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been extensively applied for image recognition problems giving state-of-the-art results on recognition, detection, segmentation and retrieval. In this work we propose and evaluate several deep neural network architectures to combine image information across a video over longer time periods than previously attempted. We propose two methods capable of handling full length videos. The first method explores various convolutional temporal feature pooling architectures, examining the various design choices which need to be made when adapting a CNN for this task. The second proposed method explicitly models the video as an ordered sequence of frames. For this purpose we employ a recurrent neural network that uses Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) cells which are connected to the output of the underlying CNN. Our best networks exhibit significant performance improvements over previously published results on the Sports 1 million dataset (73.1% vs. 60.9%) and the UCF-101 datasets with (88.6% vs. 88.0%) and without additional optical flow information (82.6% vs. 72.8%).

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We consider the problem of building high-level, class-specific feature detectors from only unlabeled data. For example, is it possible to learn a face detector using only unlabeled images? To answer this, we train a 9-layered locally connected sparse autoencoder with pooling and local contrast normalization on a large dataset of images (the model has 1 billion connections, the dataset has 10 million 200x200 pixel images downloaded from the Internet). We train this network using model parallelism and asynchronous SGD on a cluster with 1,000 machines (16,000 cores) for three days. Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not. Control experiments show that this feature detector is robust not only to translation but also to scaling and out-of-plane rotation. We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies. Starting with these learned features, we trained our network to obtain 15.8% accuracy in recognizing 20,000 object categories from ImageNet, a leap of 70% relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art.

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Many recent machine learning models rely on fine-grained dynamic control flow for training and inference. In particular, models based on recurrent neural networks and on reinforcement learning depend on recurrence relations, data-dependent conditional execution, and other features that call for dynamic control flow. These applications benefit from the ability to make rapid control-flow decisions across a set of computing devices in a distributed system. For performance, scalability, and expressiveness, a machine learning system must support dynamic control flow in distributed and heterogeneous environments. This paper presents a programming model for distributed machine learning that supports dynamic control flow. We describe the design of the programming model, and its implementation in TensorFlow, a distributed machine learning system. Our approach extends the use of dataflow graphs to represent machine learning models, offering several distinctive features. First, the branches of conditionals and bodies of loops can be partitioned across many machines to run on a set of heterogeneous devices, including CPUs, GPUs, and custom ASICs. Second, programs written in our model support automatic differentiation and distributed gradient computations, which are necessary for training machine learning models that use control flow. Third, our choice of non-strict semantics enables multiple loop iterations to execute in parallel across machines, and to overlap compute and I/O operations. We have done our work in the context of TensorFlow, and it has been used extensively in research and production. We evaluate it using several real-world applications, and demonstrate its performance and scalability.

* EuroSys 2018: Thirteenth EuroSys Conference, April 23-26, 2018, Porto, Portugal. ACM, New York, NY, USA
* Appeared in EuroSys 2018. 14 pages, 16 figures
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TensorFlow.js is a library for building and executing machine learning algorithms in JavaScript. TensorFlow.js models run in a web browser and in the Node.js environment. The library is part of the TensorFlow ecosystem, providing a set of APIs that are compatible with those in Python, allowing models to be ported between the Python and JavaScript ecosystems. TensorFlow.js has empowered a new set of developers from the extensive JavaScript community to build and deploy machine learning models and enabled new classes of on-device computation. This paper describes the design, API, and implementation of TensorFlow.js, and highlights some of the impactful use cases.

* 10 pages
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TensorFlow is a machine learning system that operates at large scale and in heterogeneous environments. TensorFlow uses dataflow graphs to represent computation, shared state, and the operations that mutate that state. It maps the nodes of a dataflow graph across many machines in a cluster, and within a machine across multiple computational devices, including multicore CPUs, general-purpose GPUs, and custom designed ASICs known as Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). This architecture gives flexibility to the application developer: whereas in previous "parameter server" designs the management of shared state is built into the system, TensorFlow enables developers to experiment with novel optimizations and training algorithms. TensorFlow supports a variety of applications, with particularly strong support for training and inference on deep neural networks. Several Google services use TensorFlow in production, we have released it as an open-source project, and it has become widely used for machine learning research. In this paper, we describe the TensorFlow dataflow model in contrast to existing systems, and demonstrate the compelling performance that TensorFlow achieves for several real-world applications.

* 18 pages, 9 figures; v2 has a spelling correction in the metadata
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TensorFlow is an interface for expressing machine learning algorithms, and an implementation for executing such algorithms. A computation expressed using TensorFlow can be executed with little or no change on a wide variety of heterogeneous systems, ranging from mobile devices such as phones and tablets up to large-scale distributed systems of hundreds of machines and thousands of computational devices such as GPU cards. The system is flexible and can be used to express a wide variety of algorithms, including training and inference algorithms for deep neural network models, and it has been used for conducting research and for deploying machine learning systems into production across more than a dozen areas of computer science and other fields, including speech recognition, computer vision, robotics, information retrieval, natural language processing, geographic information extraction, and computational drug discovery. This paper describes the TensorFlow interface and an implementation of that interface that we have built at Google. The TensorFlow API and a reference implementation were released as an open-source package under the Apache 2.0 license in November, 2015 and are available at www.tensorflow.org.

* Version 2 updates only the metadata, to correct the formatting of Mart\'in Abadi's name
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