Determining the Right Batch Size for a Neural Network to Get Better and Faster Results by Rukshan Pramoditha Data Science 365

This increased exposure to different instances aids the model in learning more fine-grained features. I then computed the L_2 distance between the final weights and the initial weights. Finally let’s plot the raw gradient values without computing the Euclidean norm. What I’ve done here is take each scalar gradient in the gradient tensor and put them into a bin on the real number line. We combine the weights from the tensors of all 1000 trials by sharing bins between trials. The neon yellow curves serve as a control to make sure we aren’t doing better on the test accuracy because we’re simply training more.

  1. We also see in figure 11 that this is true across different layers in the model.
  2. Then, gradually increase the number of epochs and batch size until you find the best balance between training time and performance.
  3. The point depends on the data set, hardware, and a library that’s used for numerical computations (under the hood).
  4. Exploring the effect of batch size on model accuracy over training epochs.

We can further reduce the number of parameter updates by increasing the learning rate ϵ and scaling the batch size B∝ϵ. Finally, one can increase the momentum coefficient m and scale B∝1/(1−m), although this tends to slightly reduce the test accuracy. Crucially, our techniques allow us to repurpose existing training schedules for large batch training with no hyper-parameter tuning. We train ResNet-50 on ImageNet to 76.1% validation accuracy in under 30 minutes. Batch size is one of the important hyperparameters to tune in modern deep learning systems.

Misconception 1: Larger batch sizes always lead to better results

Indeed the model is able to find the far away solution and achieve the better test accuracy. But, let’s not forget that there is also the other notion of speed, which tells us how quickly our algorithm converges.


This is extremely important because it’s highly unlikely that your training data will have every possible kind of data distribution relevant to its application. The primary metric that we care about, Batch Size has an interesting relationship with model loss. Going with the simplest approach, let’s compare the performance of models where the only thing that changes is the batch size. In this experiment, we investigate the effect of batch size and gradient accumulation on training and test accuracy. We see that learning rate 0.01 is the best for batch size 32, whereas 0.08 is the best for the other batch sizes. We will use a base learning rate of 0.01 for batch size 32, and scale accordingly for the other batch sizes.

Common Batch Sizes in Machine Learning

This is because in most implementations the loss and hence the gradient is averaged over the batch. This means for a fixed number of training epochs, larger batch sizes take fewer steps. However, by increasing the learning rate to 0.1, we take bigger steps and can reach the solutions that are farther away. Interestingly, in the previous experiment we showed that larger batch sizes move further after seeing the same number of samples. The picture is much more nuanced in non-convex optimization, which nowadays in deep learning refers to any neural network model. It has been empirically observed that smaller batch sizes not only has faster training dynamics but also generalization to the test dataset versus larger batch sizes.

It can one of the crucial steps to making sure your models hit peak performance. It should not be surprising that there is a lot of research into how different Batch Sizes affect aspects of your ML pipelines. This article will summarize some of the relevant research when it comes to batch sizes and supervised learning. To get a complete picture of the process, we will look at how batch size affects performance, training costs, and generalization. Typically, this is done using gradient descent, which computes the gradient of the loss function with respect to the parameters, and takes a step in that direction.

This was a very comprehensive paper and I would suggest reading this paper. They came up with several steps that they used to severely cut down model training time without how does batch size affect training completely destroying performance. If we use a batch size of one, we will take a step in the direction of a, then b, ending up at the point represented by a+b.

Thus, you need to adjust the learning rate in order to realize the speedup from larger batch sizes and parallelization. Keskar et al note that stochastic gradient descent is sequential and uses small batches, so it cannot be easily parallelized [1]. Using larger batch sizes would allow us to parallelize computations to a greater degree, since we could split up the training examples between different worker nodes. Iterations are the number of batches required to complete one epoch used to measure the progress of the training process. The iteration count is equal to the number of batches in an epoch, and it is calculated by dividing the total number of samples in the training dataset by the batch size.

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