The Open Science of Deep Learning: Three Case Studies

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Objective: An area of research in which open science may have particularly high impact is in deep learning (DL), where researchers have developed many algorithms to solve challenging problems, but others may have difficulty in replicating results and applying these algorithms. In response, some researchers have begun to open up DL research by making their resources available (e.g., code, datasets and/or pre-trained models) to the research community. This article describes three case studies in DL where openly available resources are used and we investigate the impact on the projects, the outcomes, and make recommendations for what to focus on when making DL resources available.

Methods: Each case study represents a single project using openly available DL resources for a research project. The process and progress of each case study is recorded along with aspects such as approaches taken, documentation of openly available resources, and researchers’ experience with the openly available resources. The case studies are in multiple-document text summarization, optical character recognition (OCR) of thousands of text documents, and identifying unique language descriptors for sensory science.

Results: Each case study was a success but had its own hurdles. Some takeaways are well-structured and clear documentation, code examples and demos, and pre-trained models were at the core to the success of these case studies.

Conclusions: Openly available DL resources were the core of the success of our case studies. The authors encourage DL researchers to continue to make their data, code, and pre-trained models openly available where appropriate.