Workshop: Machine Learning on HPC Systems (MLHPCS)

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Analysis of Black-box Optimization Algorithms to Tune TensorFlow’s CPU Backend


Many deep learning (DL) applications are typically built using DL frameworks such as TensorFlow. Unfortunately, these frameworks are complex and obtaining good training or inference performance of a model on a target hardware could be difficult for a typical user — these frameworks typically provide user-controllable knobs that can be tuned to obtain good performance. Such tuning, however, requires good understanding of the framework and the underlying hardware, making it difficult for a typical user (DL developer or data scientist) to obtain good performance for their application. In this paper, we explore applicability of Bayesian optimization, genetic algorithm and Nelder-Mead simplex algorithm to tune performance of TensorFlow’s CPU backend. While prior work has explored applicability of Nelder-Mead simplex algorithm for this problem, there is no systematic comparative analysis of these algorithms, making it harder to understand the applicability of these algorithms beyond the selected set of models. We perform detailed comparative analysis of these algorithms. Our findings reveal that Bayesian optimization typically performs the best on the majority of the models. There are, however, cases where it does not deliver the best results.


Niranjan Hasabnis, Intel