Visualizing Examples of Deep Neural Networks at Scale

CHI 2021 Honorable Mention

Litao Yan, Elena Glassman, Tianyi Zhang

ExampleNet, an interface to explore the commonalities and variations in relevant neural network models built by other GitHub developers: (1) a faceted browser to identify relevant models, (2) the distribution of various layers used by other developers, (3) an overview diagram of various model structures, and (4) the distribution of hyperparameters used by others.


Many programmers want to use deep learning due to its superior accuracy in many challenging domains. Yet our formative study with ten programmers indicated that, when constructing their own deep neural networks (DNNs), they often had a difficult time choosing appropriate model structures and hyperparameter values. This paper presents ExampleNet—a novel interactive visualization system for exploring common and uncommon design choices in a large collection of open-source DNN projects. ExampleNet provides a holistic view of the distribution over model structures and hyperparameter settings in the corpus of DNNs, so users can easily filter the corpus down to projects tackling similar tasks and compare design choices made by others. We evaluated ExampleNet in a within-subjects study with sixteen participants. Compared with the control condition (i.e., online search), participants using ExampleNet were able to inspect more online examples, make more data-driven design decisions, and make fewer design mistakes.

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