Drawing from discussions at the inaugural DMLR workshop at ICML 2023 and meetings prior, in this report we outline the relevance of community engagement and infrastructure development for the creation of next-generation public datasets that will advance machine learning science. We chart a path forward as a collective effort to sustain the creation and maintenance of these datasets and methods towards positive scientific, societal and business impact.
Training algorithms, broadly construed, are an essential part of every deep learning pipeline. Training algorithm improvements that speed up training across a wide variety of workloads (e.g., better update rules, tuning protocols, learning rate schedules, or data selection schemes) could save time, save computational resources, and lead to better, more accurate, models. Unfortunately, as a community, we are currently unable to reliably identify training algorithm improvements, or even determine the state-of-the-art training algorithm. In this work, using concrete experiments, we argue that real progress in speeding up training requires new benchmarks that resolve three basic challenges faced by empirical comparisons of training algorithms: (1) how to decide when training is complete and precisely measure training time, (2) how to handle the sensitivity of measurements to exact workload details, and (3) how to fairly compare algorithms that require hyperparameter tuning. In order to address these challenges, we introduce a new, competitive, time-to-result benchmark using multiple workloads running on fixed hardware, the AlgoPerf: Training Algorithms benchmark. Our benchmark includes a set of workload variants that make it possible to detect benchmark submissions that are more robust to workload changes than current widely-used methods. Finally, we evaluate baseline submissions constructed using various optimizers that represent current practice, as well as other optimizers that have recently received attention in the literature. These baseline results collectively demonstrate the feasibility of our benchmark, show that non-trivial gaps between methods exist, and set a provisional state-of-the-art for future benchmark submissions to try and surpass.
Validation metrics are key for the reliable tracking of scientific progress and for bridging the current chasm between artificial intelligence (AI) research and its translation into practice. However, increasing evidence shows that particularly in image analysis, metrics are often chosen inadequately in relation to the underlying research problem. This could be attributed to a lack of accessibility of metric-related knowledge: While taking into account the individual strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of validation metrics is a critical prerequisite to making educated choices, the relevant knowledge is currently scattered and poorly accessible to individual researchers. Based on a multi-stage Delphi process conducted by a multidisciplinary expert consortium as well as extensive community feedback, the present work provides the first reliable and comprehensive common point of access to information on pitfalls related to validation metrics in image analysis. Focusing on biomedical image analysis but with the potential of transfer to other fields, the addressed pitfalls generalize across application domains and are categorized according to a newly created, domain-agnostic taxonomy. To facilitate comprehension, illustrations and specific examples accompany each pitfall. As a structured body of information accessible to researchers of all levels of expertise, this work enhances global comprehension of a key topic in image analysis validation.
Machine learning (ML) research has generally focused on models, while the most prominent datasets have been employed for everyday ML tasks without regard for the breadth, difficulty, and faithfulness of these datasets to the underlying problem. Neglecting the fundamental importance of datasets has caused major problems involving data cascades in real-world applications and saturation of dataset-driven criteria for model quality, hindering research growth. To solve this problem, we present DataPerf, a benchmark package for evaluating ML datasets and dataset-working algorithms. We intend it to enable the "data ratchet," in which training sets will aid in evaluating test sets on the same problems, and vice versa. Such a feedback-driven strategy will generate a virtuous loop that will accelerate development of data-centric AI. The MLCommons Association will maintain DataPerf.
The field of automatic biomedical image analysis crucially depends on robust and meaningful performance metrics for algorithm validation. Current metric usage, however, is often ill-informed and does not reflect the underlying domain interest. Here, we present a comprehensive framework that guides researchers towards choosing performance metrics in a problem-aware manner. Specifically, we focus on biomedical image analysis problems that can be interpreted as a classification task at image, object or pixel level. The framework first compiles domain interest-, target structure-, data set- and algorithm output-related properties of a given problem into a problem fingerprint, while also mapping it to the appropriate problem category, namely image-level classification, semantic segmentation, instance segmentation, or object detection. It then guides users through the process of selecting and applying a set of appropriate validation metrics while making them aware of potential pitfalls related to individual choices. In this paper, we describe the current status of the Metrics Reloaded recommendation framework, with the goal of obtaining constructive feedback from the image analysis community. The current version has been developed within an international consortium of more than 60 image analysis experts and will be made openly available as a user-friendly toolkit after community-driven optimization.
We introduce Dynatask: an open source system for setting up custom NLP tasks that aims to greatly lower the technical knowledge and effort required for hosting and evaluating state-of-the-art NLP models, as well as for conducting model in the loop data collection with crowdworkers. Dynatask is integrated with Dynabench, a research platform for rethinking benchmarking in AI that facilitates human and model in the loop data collection and evaluation. To create a task, users only need to write a short task configuration file from which the relevant web interfaces and model hosting infrastructure are automatically generated. The system is available at https://dynabench.org/ and the full library can be found at https://github.com/facebookresearch/dynabench.
Scientific communities are increasingly adopting machine learning and deep learning models in their applications to accelerate scientific insights. High performance computing systems are pushing the frontiers of performance with a rich diversity of hardware resources and massive scale-out capabilities. There is a critical need to understand fair and effective benchmarking of machine learning applications that are representative of real-world scientific use cases. MLPerf is a community-driven standard to benchmark machine learning workloads, focusing on end-to-end performance metrics. In this paper, we introduce MLPerf HPC, a benchmark suite of large-scale scientific machine learning training applications driven by the MLCommons Association. We present the results from the first submission round, including a diverse set of some of the world's largest HPC systems. We develop a systematic framework for their joint analysis and compare them in terms of data staging, algorithmic convergence, and compute performance. As a result, we gain a quantitative understanding of optimizations on different subsystems such as staging and on-node loading of data, compute-unit utilization, and communication scheduling, enabling overall $>10 \times$ (end-to-end) performance improvements through system scaling. Notably, our analysis shows a scale-dependent interplay between the dataset size, a system's memory hierarchy, and training convergence that underlines the importance of near-compute storage. To overcome the data-parallel scalability challenge at large batch sizes, we discuss specific learning techniques and hybrid data-and-model parallelism that are effective on large systems. We conclude by characterizing each benchmark with respect to low-level memory, I/O, and network behavior to parameterize extended roofline performance models in future rounds.
Medical AI has tremendous potential to advance healthcare by supporting the evidence-based practice of medicine, personalizing patient treatment, reducing costs, and improving provider and patient experience. We argue that unlocking this potential requires a systematic way to measure the performance of medical AI models on large-scale heterogeneous data. To meet this need, we are building MedPerf, an open framework for benchmarking machine learning in the medical domain. MedPerf will enable federated evaluation in which models are securely distributed to different facilities for evaluation, thereby empowering healthcare organizations to assess and verify the performance of AI models in an efficient and human-supervised process, while prioritizing privacy. We describe the current challenges healthcare and AI communities face, the need for an open platform, the design philosophy of MedPerf, its current implementation status, and our roadmap. We call for researchers and organizations to join us in creating the MedPerf open benchmarking platform.
Data engineering is one of the fastest-growing fields within machine learning (ML). As ML becomes more common, the appetite for data grows more ravenous. But ML requires more data than individual teams of data engineers can readily produce, which presents a severe challenge to ML deployment at scale. Much like the software-engineering revolution, where mass adoption of open-source software replaced the closed, in-house development model for infrastructure code, there is a growing need to enable rapid development and open contribution to massive machine learning data sets. This article shows that open-source data sets are the rocket fuel for research and innovation at even some of the largest AI organizations. Our analysis of nearly 2000 research publications from Facebook, Google and Microsoft over the past five years shows the widespread use and adoption of open data sets. Open data sets that are easily accessible to the public are vital to accelerating ML innovation for everyone. But such open resources are scarce in the wild. So, what if we are able to accelerate data-set creation via automatic data set generation tools?