So, for larger networks with large data sets, they take a while to train. It would be awesome if there was a way to share the computing time across multiple machines. However, the issue with that is that when a neural network is training, the weights are constantly being altered every iteration, and each iteration is more or less based on the last -- which makes the idea of distributed computing at the very least a challenge.

I've thought that for each portion of the network, the server could send maybe a 1000 sets of data to train a network on... but... you'd have roughly the same computing time as I wouldn't be able to train on different sets of data simultaneously (which is what I want to do).

But even if I could split up the network's training into blocks of different data sets to train on, how would I know when I'm done with that set of data? especially if the amount of data sent to the client machine isn't enough to achieve the desired error?

I welcome all ideas.


Epoch training? Sync after n sets, train, do another epoch. Just like you handle multi core processing with ANNs.

Written by Daniel

Accepted Answer


When multicore computers are used multithreaded techniques can greatly decrease the amount of time that backpropagation takes to converge. If batching is being used, it is relatively simple to adapt the backpropagation algorithm to operate in a multithreaded manner.

The training data is broken up into equally large batches for each of the threads. Each thread executes the forward and backward propagations. The weight and threshold deltas are summed for each of the threads. At the end of each iteration all threads must pause briefly for the weight and threshold deltas to be summed and applied to the neural network.

which is essentially what other answers here describe.

Written by Andre Holzner
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