The Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit is an open source unified deep learning toolkit that describes neural networks as a series of computational steps via a directed graph.
In this directed graph, leaf nodes represent input values or network parameters, while other nodes represent matrix operations upon their inputs. CNTK allows users to easily realize and combine popular model types such as feed-forward DNNs, convolutional nets (CNNs), and recurrent networks (RNNs/LSTMs). It implements stochastic gradient descent (SGD, error backpropagation) learning with automatic differentiation and parallelization across multiple GPUs and servers.
CNTK requires OpenMPI 1.10.x to be installed on your system.
- Optimized, built-in components:
- Components can handle multi-dimensional dense or sparse data from Python, C++ or BrainScript.
- FFN, CNN, RNN/LSTM, Batch normalization, Sequence-to-Sequence with attention and more.
- Reinforcement learning, generative adversarial networks, supervised and unsupervised learning.
- Ability to add new user-defined core-components on the GPU from Python.
- Automatic hyperparameter tuning.
- Built-in readers optimized for massive datasets.
- Efficient resource usage:
- Parallelism with accuracy on multiple GPUs/machines via 1-bit SGD and Block Momentum.
- Memory sharing and other built-in methods to fit even the largest models in GPU memory.
- Express your own networks:
- Full APIs for defining networks, learners, readers, training and evaluation from Python, C++ and BrainScript.
- Evaluate models with Python, C++, C# and BrainScript.
- Interoperation with NumPy.
- Both high-level and low-level APIs available for ease of use and flexibility.
- Automatic shape inference based on your data.
- Fully optimized symbolic RNN loops (no unrolling needed).
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