Non-Determinism in TensorFlow ResNets

Miguel Morin, Matthew Willetts
University of Oxford, Alan Turing Institute
arXiv:2001.11396 [cs.LG], (30 Jan 2020)


   title={Non-Determinism in TensorFlow ResNets},

   author={Miguel Morin and Matthew Willetts},






We show that the stochasticity in training ResNets for image classification on GPUs in TensorFlow is dominated by the non-determinism from GPUs, rather than by the initialisation of the weights and biases of the network or by the sequence of minibatches given. The standard deviation of test set accuracy is 0.02 with fixed seeds, compared to 0.027 with different seeds – nearly 74% of the standard deviation of a ResNet model is non-deterministic. For test set loss the ratio of standard deviations is more than 80%. These results call for more robust evaluation strategies of deep learning models, as a significant amount of the variation in results across runs can arise simply from GPU randomness.
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