Key Concepts

Let’s quickly walk through the key concepts you need to know to use Tune. In this guide, we’ll be covering the following:

../_images/tune-workflow.png

Trainables

To start, let’s try to maximize this objective function:

def objective(x, a, b):
    return a * (x ** 0.5) + b

To use Tune, you will need to wrap this function in a lightweight trainable API. You can either use a function-based version or a class-based version.

Here’s an example of specifying the objective function using the function-based Trainable API:

def trainable(config):
    # config (dict): A dict of hyperparameters.

    for x in range(20):
        score = objective(x, config["a"], config["b"])

        tune.report(score=score)  # This sends the score to Tune.

Here’s an example of specifying the objective function using the class-based API:

from ray import tune

class Trainable(tune.Trainable):
    def setup(self, config):
        # config (dict): A dict of hyperparameters
        self.x = 0
        self.a = config["a"]
        self.b = config["b"]

    def step(self):  # This is called iteratively.
        score = objective(self.x, self.a, self.b)
        self.x += 1
        return {"score": score}

Tip

Do not use tune.report within a Trainable class.

See the documentation: Training (tune.Trainable, tune.report) and examples.

tune.run and Trials

Use tune.run to execute hyperparameter tuning. This function manages your experiment and provides many features such as logging, checkpointing, and early stopping.

# Pass in a Trainable class or function to tune.run.
tune.run(trainable)

tune.run will generate a couple hyperparameter configurations from its arguments, wrapping them into Trial objects.

Each trial has * a hyperparameter configuration (trial.config), id (trial.trial_id) * a resource specification (resources_per_trial or trial.resources) * And other configuration values.

Each trial is also associated with one instance of a Trainable. You can access trial objects through the Analysis object provided after tune.run finishes.

tune.run will execute until all trials stop or error:

== Status ==
Memory usage on this node: 11.4/16.0 GiB
Using FIFO scheduling algorithm.
Resources requested: 1/12 CPUs, 0/0 GPUs, 0.0/3.17 GiB heap, 0.0/1.07 GiB objects
Result logdir: /Users/foo/ray_results/myexp
Number of trials: 1 (1 RUNNING)
+----------------------+----------+---------------------+-----------+--------+--------+----------------+-------+
| Trial name           | status   | loc                 |         a |      b |  score | total time (s) |  iter |
|----------------------+----------+---------------------+-----------+--------+--------+----------------+-------|
| MyTrainable_a826033a | RUNNING  | 10.234.98.164:31115 | 0.303706  | 0.0761 | 0.1289 |        7.54952 |    15 |
+----------------------+----------+---------------------+-----------+--------+--------+----------------+-------+

You can also easily run 10 trials. Tune automatically determines how many trials will run in parallel.

tune.run(trainable, num_samples=10)

Finally, you can randomly sample or grid search hyperparameters via Tune’s search space API:

space = {"x": tune.uniform(0, 1)}
tune.run(my_trainable, config=space, num_samples=10)

See more documentation: tune.run.

Search spaces

To optimize your hyperparameters, you have to define a search space. A search space defines valid values for your hyperparameters and can specify how these values are sampled (e.g. from a uniform distribution or a normal distribution).

Tune offers various functions to define search spaces and sampling methods. You can find the documentation of these search space definitions here.

Usually you pass your search space definition in the config parameter of tune.run().

Here’s an example covering all search space functions. Again, here is the full explanation of all these functions.

config = {
    "uniform": tune.uniform(-5, -1),  # Uniform float between -5 and -1
    "quniform": tune.quniform(3.2, 5.4, 0.2),  # Round to increments of 0.2
    "loguniform": tune.loguniform(1e-4, 1e-2),  # Uniform float in log space
    "qloguniform": tune.qloguniform(1e-4, 1e-1, 5e-4),  # Round to increments of 0.0005
    "randn": tune.randn(10, 2),  # Normal distribution with mean 10 and sd 2
    "qrandn": tune.qrandn(10, 2, 0.2),  # Round to increments of 0.2
    "randint": tune.randint(-9, 15),  # Random integer between -9 and 15
    "qrandint": tune.qrandint(-21, 12, 3),  # Round to increments of 3 (includes 12)
    "choice": tune.choice(["a", "b", "c"]),  # Choose one of these options uniformly
    "func": tune.sample_from(lambda spec: spec.config.uniform * 0.01), # Depends on other value
    "grid": tune.grid_search([32, 64, 128])  # Search over all these values
}

Search Algorithms

To optimize the hyperparameters of your training process, you will want to use a Search Algorithm which will help suggest better hyperparameters.

# Be sure to first run `pip install hyperopt`

import hyperopt as hp
from ray.tune.suggest.hyperopt import HyperOptSearch

# Create a HyperOpt search space
config = {
    "a": tune.uniform(0, 1),
    "b": tune.uniform(0, 20)

    # Note: Arbitrary HyperOpt search spaces should be supported!
    # "foo": tune.randn(0, 1))
}

# Specify the search space and maximize score
hyperopt = HyperOptSearch(metric="score", mode="max")

# Execute 20 trials using HyperOpt and stop after 20 iterations
tune.run(
    trainable,
    config=config,
    search_alg=hyperopt,
    num_samples=20,
    stop={"training_iteration": 20}
)

Tune has SearchAlgorithms that integrate with many popular optimization libraries, such as Nevergrad and Hyperopt. Tune automatically converts the provided search space into the search spaces the search algorithms/underlying library expect.

Note

We are currently in the process of implementing automatic search space conversions for all search algorithms. Currently this works for AxSearch, BayesOpt, Hyperopt and Optuna. The other search algorithms will follow shortly, but have to be instantiated with their respective search spaces at the moment.

See the documentation: Search Algorithms (tune.suggest).

Trial Schedulers

In addition, you can make your training process more efficient by using a Trial Scheduler.

Trial Schedulers can stop/pause/tweak the hyperparameters of running trials, making your hyperparameter tuning process much faster.

from ray.tune.schedulers import HyperBandScheduler

# Create HyperBand scheduler and maximize score
hyperband = HyperBandScheduler(metric="score", mode="max")

# Execute 20 trials using HyperBand using a search space
configs = {"a": tune.uniform(0, 1), "b": tune.uniform(0, 1)}

tune.run(
    MyTrainableClass,
    config=configs,
    num_samples=20,
    scheduler=hyperband
)

Population-based Training and HyperBand are examples of popular optimization algorithms implemented as Trial Schedulers.

Unlike Search Algorithms, Trial Scheduler do not select which hyperparameter configurations to evaluate. However, you can use them together.

See the documentation: Summary.

Analysis

tune.run returns an Analysis object which has methods you can use for analyzing your training.

analysis = tune.run(trainable, search_alg=algo, stop={"training_iteration": 20})

best_trial = analysis.best_trial  # Get best trial
best_config = analysis.best_config  # Get best trial's hyperparameters
best_logdir = analysis.best_logdir  # Get best trial's logdir
best_checkpoint = analysis.best_checkpoint  # Get best trial's best checkpoint
best_result = analysis.best_result  # Get best trial's last results
best_result_df = analysis.best_result_df  # Get best result as pandas dataframe

This object can also retrieve all training runs as dataframes, allowing you to do ad-hoc data analysis over your results.

# Get a dataframe with the last results for each trial
df_results = analysis.results_df

# Get a dataframe of results for a specific score or mode
df = analysis.dataframe(metric="score", mode="max")

What’s Next?

Now that you have a working understanding of Tune, check out:

  • User Guide & Configuring Tune: A comprehensive overview of Tune’s features.

  • Tutorials & FAQ: Tutorials for using Tune with your preferred machine learning library.

  • Examples: End-to-end examples and templates for using Tune with your preferred machine learning library.

  • A Basic Tune Tutorial: A simple tutorial that walks you through the process of setting up a Tune experiment.

Further Questions or Issues?

You can post questions or issues or feedback through the following channels:

  1. Github Discussions: For questions about Ray usage or feature requests.

  2. GitHub Issues: For bug reports.

  3. Ray Slack: For getting in touch with Ray maintainers.

  4. StackOverflow: Use the [ray] tag questions about Ray.