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Poster
Cockpit: A Practical Debugging Tool for the Training of Deep Neural Networks
Frank Schneider · Felix Dangel · Philipp Hennig

Tue Dec 07 08:30 AM -- 10:00 AM (PST) @

When engineers train deep learning models, they are very much "flying blind". Commonly used methods for real-time training diagnostics, such as monitoring the train/test loss, are limited. Assessing a network's training process solely through these performance indicators is akin to debugging software without access to internal states through a debugger. To address this, we present Cockpit, a collection of instruments that enable a closer look into the inner workings of a learning machine, and a more informative and meaningful status report for practitioners. It facilitates the identification of learning phases and failure modes, like ill-chosen hyperparameters. These instruments leverage novel higher-order information about the gradient distribution and curvature, which has only recently become efficiently accessible. We believe that such a debugging tool, which we open-source for PyTorch, is a valuable help in troubleshooting the training process. By revealing new insights, it also more generally contributes to explainability and interpretability of deep nets.

Author Information

Frank Schneider (University of Tübingen)
Felix Dangel (University of Tübingen)
Philipp Hennig (University of Tübingen and MPI Tübingen)

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