Tag: uber

Open Source Visual Inspector for Neuroevolution (VINE)

Open Source Visual Inspector for Neuroevolution (VINE)

In optimizing their transportation services, Uber uses evolutionary strategies and genetic algorithms to train deep neural networks through reinforcement learning. A lot of difficult words in one sentence; you can imagine the complexity of the process.

Because it is particularly difficult to observe the underlying dynamics of this learning process in neural network optimization, Uber built VINE – a Visual Inspector for NeuroEvolution. VINE helps to discover how evolutionary strategies and genetic optimizing are performing under the hood. In a recent article, they demonstrate how VINE works on the Mujoco Humanoid Locomotion task.

[…] In the Humanoid Locomotion Task, each pseudo-offspring neural network controls the movement of a robot, and earns a score, called its fitness, based on how well it walks. [Evolutionary principles] construct the next parent by aggregating the parameters of pseudo-offspring based on these fitness scores […]. The cycle then repeats.

Uber, March 2018, link

VINE plots parent neural networks and their pseudo-offspring according to their performance. Users can then interact with these plots to:

  • visualize parents, top performance, and/or the entire pseudo-offspring cloud of any generation,
  • compare between and within generation performance,
  • and zoom in on any pseudo-offspring (points) in the plot to display performance information.

The GIFs below demonstrate what VINE is capable of displaying:

The evolution of performance over generations. The color changes in each generation. Within a generation, the color intensity of each pseudo-offspring is based on the percentile of its fitness score in that generation (aggregated into five bins). [original]
Vine allows user to deep dive into each single generation, comparing generations and each pseudo-offspring within them [original]
VINE can be found at this link. It is lightweight, portable, and implemented in Python.