What to discuss about Deep Learning? – an EMSE article review

Image by Bilderandi from Pixabay 

A study about what the developers discuss regarding Deep Learning and whether this differs across different frameworks is an interesting summer discussion topic: https://doi-org.ezproxy.ub.gu.se/10.1007/s10664-020-09819-6

The paper reviews the comments of developers who comment and/or post questions about three deep learning frameworks: Theano, Tensorflow and PyTorch. I’ve got interested in the paper because I wanted to see whether the communities using these frameworks differ. Myself, I’ve got introduced to Tensorflow a while back and keps using it. Since I’m not an ML researcher, the framework does not really matter for me, but I still would like to know whether I should read upon some new framework during the summer.

The observations quoted from the abstract:

1) a wide range of topics that are discussed about the three deep learning frameworks on both platforms, and the most popular workflow stages are Model Training and Preliminary Preparation.

2) the topic distributions at the workflow level and topic category level on Tensorflow and PyTorch are always similar while the topic distribution pattern on Theano is quite different. In addition, the topic trends at the workflow level and topic category level of the three deep learning frameworks are quite different.

3) the topics at the workflow level show different trends across the two platforms. e.g., the trend of the Preliminary Preparation stage topic on Stack Overflow comes to be relatively stable after 2016, while the trend of it on GitHub shows a stronger upward trend after 2016.

It’s interesting that the topics are roughly the same, but I’m a bit surprised that the topics are mostly about the data management/machine learning and not the frameworks themselves. This means that applications win over development of the frameworks – at least at the moment.