Standards make life easier, and we depend on them for more than we might realize — from knowing exactly how to drive any car, to knowing how to get hot or cold water from a faucet. When they fail us, the outcome can be comical or disastrous: non-standard plumbing, for instance, can result in an unexpected cold shower or a nasty scald. We need standards, and the entire computing world is built on them.
There is a wide range of open-source deep learning training networks available today offering researchers and designers plenty of choice when they are setting up their project. Caffe, Tensorflow, Chainer, Theano, Caffe2, the list goes on and is getting longer all the time. This diversity is great for encouraging innovation, as the different approaches taken by the various frameworks make it possible to access a very wide range of capabilities, and, of course, to add functionality that’s then given back to the community. This helps to drive the virtuous cycle of innovation.
The Khronos™ Group is about to release a new standard method of moving trained neural networks among frameworks, and between frameworks and inference engines. The new standard is the Neural Network Exchange Format (NNEF™); it has been in design for over a year and will be available to the public by the end of 2017.