Comparative Study of Caffe, Neon, Theano, and Torch for Deep Learning

Soheil Bahrampour, Naveen Ramakrishnan, Lukas Schott, Mohak Shah

Feb 17, 2016 (modified: Feb 17, 2016) ICLR 2016 workshop submission readers: everyone
  • CMT id: 114
  • Abstract: Deep learning methods have resulted in significant performance improvements in several application domains and as such several software frameworks have been developed to facilitate their implementation. This paper presents a comparative study of four deep learning frameworks, namely Caffe, Neon, Theano, and Torch, on three aspects: extensibility, hardware utilization, and speed. The study is performed on several types of deep learning architectures and we evaluate the performance of the above frameworks when employed on a single machine for both (multi-threaded) CPU and GPU (Nvidia Titan X) settings. The speed performance metrics used here include the gradient computation time, which is important during the training phase of deep networks, and the forward time, which is important from the deployment perspective of trained networks. For convolutional networks, we also report how each of these frameworks support various convolutional algorithms and their corresponding performance. From our experiments, we observe that Theano and Torch are the most easily extensible frameworks. We observe that Torch is best suited for any deep architecture on CPU, followed by Theano. It also achieves the best performance on the GPU for large convolutional and fully connected networks, followed closely by Neon. Theano achieves the best performance on GPU for training and deployment of LSTM networks. Finally Caffe is the easiest for evaluating the performance of standard deep architectures.
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