Day 68 - 69: Neural Networks and Ideas

Most of the day (yesterday) was spent playing around with PyTorch in order to create a simple CNN (shoutout to Kamal from Data Science!!). We had a data set of images of different rooms and we wanted to classify them into six different categories, such as bedroom, living room, kitchen, and etc. With the state-of-the-art model that he worked on, it had about 85% accuracy so we aimed for roughly 50% (with the baseline being around 16.7% with just random selection) as the model we would make would not be as complex.

We first created a feed-forward network but eventually added some convolutional layers so I’ll mostly talk about that, especially as we had a problem with the weights not updating thanks to the great documentation by the developers of PyTorch. There’s a very important fact that they left out in the documentation that took up about two hours of our time to solve… maybe I’ll talk about that when I get to it.

However I think running into bugs is usually an ideal situation to learn a lot of new things (like how I should email the devs and tell them their documentation is slightly wrong or at least missing something). We got a 47% accuracy with two convolutional layers, which was actually a bit more decent than we thought, especially as it peaked at about 4 epochs. So, goal semi-achieved. I was actually going to write about this in more detail, however I didn’t have enough time yesterday and there’s a lot I want to get down on to paper today.

After some discussions yesterday and further discussions today, I began thinking about a probably masterpiece that I could do alongside the data science team. As I said, there’s not too much time for me to think about what I want to do so I’ll be planning it the next two weeks so I can start off the next phase starting on the project immediately rather than losing a week or two on planning.

Let’s see… We have a ton of images (many different kinds) and we have textual data such as reviews, which can contain positive and negative aspects about a certain hotel. After having a meeting with one of the UX leads this morning, I began to think about the business side of things and what I can do with these data that would help the end-users have a better experience on our website.

The software engineer in me wants to gather requirements before collecting ideas. I mean, that’s always the first step in the creation of something. It makes life easier if we know what the end-users want and look for. It would help me/the data team tune an idea in a way that is doable for us as well as beneficial to the company.

Anyway, I’m still at a point where I’m collecting some information and letting it all marinate in my head.


Just me rambling about things that are in my head. Somewhat the usual.

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Deirdre Bringas Written by:

Deirdre is a self-proclaimed canine specialist by day and software engineer by night. She is a Boston Celtics fan despite living in San Diego most of her life, and listens to Earth, Wind, and Fire and Bruce Springsteen every day.