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Configure experiments

Project description

A minimal package for configuring and exploring parameter combinations of machine learning experiments.

comb is a small and simplistic library. comb is able to

  • quickly and cleanly define grid searches and random searches, and handle parameter dependencies
  • add configuration options to existing projects. Existing modules and packages can be turned into a registry, enabling python classes to become accessible and searchable via a string name.

For more complicated workflows, configuration packages like hydra are better suited.


Install comb-py from pypi:

$ pip install comb-py

and import it via

import comb

comb does not have any dependencies beyond the python standard library. It works for python>=3.7.

Defining an experiment (comb.sweep)

In your project, create sweeps directly in python ─ create the following file under sweep/

from comb import sweep
from comb.types import zipped, grid

class MyExperiment(sweep.Sweep):

    def script(self):
        return "my/"

    def get_random_args(self):
        return dict(
            # define a method to sample arguments from
            foo = np.random.choice([42, 73])

    def get_fixed_args(self):
        return dict(
            # zip N dependen arguments together
            bar = zipped("hello", "check out"),
            baz = zipped("world", "comb"),
            # define a search grid (1x2 combinations)
            # over two parameters
            blubb  = grid("star"),
            blubb2 = grid("wars", "treck"),

and generate a joblist using

$ python -m comb example-sweep --bar hello --baz world --blubb star --blubb2 wars --foo 73 --bar hello --baz world --blubb star --blubb2 treck --foo 73 --bar check out --baz comb --blubb star --blubb2 wars --foo 73 --bar check out --baz comb --blubb star --blubb2 treck --foo 73

Parametrizing an experiment (comb.registry)

comb makes it very easy to reference design choices within your experiment by names. Suppose you wanted to add a few datasets and loss functions to a machine learning experiment.

Turn your python module packages or packages into registries by a simple call to comb.registry.add_helper_functions:

from comb import registry

class MNIST(): pass 

class SVHN(): pass 

from comb import registry

class MeanSquaredError(): pass

class InfoNCE(): pass

Afterwards, you can easily list and instantiate your functions:

>>> import datasets
>>> datasets.get_options("*")
mnist svhn
>>> datasets.init("mnist")

Scheduling experiments

comb does not attempt to provide ways to actually launch these experiments ─ there are plenty tools better suited for this. To name a few suggestions, the following workflows are possible:

Using GNU parallel

Scheduling a maximum of 2 consecutive jobs via GNU parallel (similar results can be achived via e.g. xargs):

$ python -m comb bash-example || exit 1 | parallel --jobs 2 'echo Scheduling job {#}; eval {}'


Scheduling a job array via slurm:

mkdir -p submitted
python -m comb bash-example > jobs.lst
num_jobs=$(wc -l jobs.lst)
jobid=$(sbatch -a 1-${num_jobs} --wrap 'job=$(sed -n ${SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID}p jobs.lst); srun ${job}')
mv jobs.lst submitted/{jobid}.lst 


comb is released under an MIT License.

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