TensorFlow Machine Learning System

Google recently open sourced TensorFlow providing access to a powerful machine learning system. TensorFlow is a machine learning library with tools for data scientists to design intelligent systems (interface for expressing machine learning algorithms and implementation for executing such algorithms). It runs on CPUs or GPUs, and on desktop, server, laptop, or mobile platforms with a single API. See paper here.

Originally developed by the Google Brain Team in Machine Intelligence Research, TensorFlow has a flexible, portable and general architecture for a wide variety of applications. The system has been used for deploying machine learning systems for information retrieval, simulations, speech recognition, computer vision, robotics, natural language processing, geographic information extraction, and computational drug discovery.

The system uses data flow graphs where data with multiple dimensions (values) are passed along from mathematical computation to mathematical computation. Complex bits of data are tensors and math-y bits are nodes, and tensors flow through the graph of nodes. The way data transforms from node to node tells the system relationships in the data.

What is really cool is the systems flexibility and simplicity with ability to quickly experiment with different ideas on the laptop, easily move into production, use GPUs with no code changes, and deploy on a mobile device.

The ability to simply and easily deploy products on mobile devices is a valuable feature. It can be used on a wide variety of heterogeneous systems, including large-scale distributed systems.

TensorFlow has an Apache 2.0 open source license for use commercially.