MNIST classification using Convolutional NeuralNetwork. Various techniques such as data augmentation, dropout, batchnormalization, etc are implemented.
Latest commit 14f14ea Jan 11, 2017 @hwalsuklee committed on GitHub correct a typo
The 3rd fully-connected layer was named as 'fc4', and dropout layer was 'dropout4'.
Those are changed into 'fc3' and 'dropout3' respectively.

Convolutional Neural-Network for MNIST

An implementation of convolutional neural-network (CNN) for MNIST with various techniques such as data augmentation, dropout, batchnormalization, etc.

Network architecture

CNN with 4 layers has following architecture.

  • input layer : 784 nodes (MNIST images size)
  • first convolution layer : 5x5x32
  • first max-pooling layer
  • second convolution layer : 5x5x64
  • second max-pooling layer
  • third fully-connected layer : 1024 nodes
  • output layer : 10 nodes (number of class for MNIST)

Tools for improving CNN performance

The following techniques are employed to imporve performance of CNN.


1. Data augmentation

The number of train-data is increased to 5 times by means of

  • Random rotation : each image is rotated by random degree in ranging [-15°, +15°].
  • Random shift : each image is randomly shifted by a value ranging [-2pix, +2pix] at both axises.
  • Zero-centered normalization : a pixel value is subtracted by (PIXEL_DEPTH/2) and divided by PIXEL_DEPTH.

2. Parameter initializers

  • Weight initializer : xaiver initializer
  • Bias initializer : constant (zero) initializer

3. Batch normalization

All convolution/fully-connected layers use batch normalization.

4. Dropout

The third fully-connected layer employes dropout technique.

5. Exponentially decayed learning rate

A learning rate is decayed every after one-epoch.


1. Ensemble prediction

Every model makes a prediction (votes) for each test instance and the final output prediction is the one that receives the highest number of votes.




Training logs are saved in "logs/train". Trained model is saved as "model/model.ckpt".

Test a single model

python --model-dir <model_directory> --batch-size <batch_size> --use-ensemble False

  • <model_directory> is the location where a model to be testes is saved. Please do not specify filename of "model.ckpt".
  • <batch_size> is employed to reduce burden of memory of machine. The number of test data is 10,000 for MNIST. Different batch_size gives the same result, but requiring different memory size.

You may command like python --model-dir model/model01_99.61 --batch-size 5000 --use-ensemble False.

Test ensemble prediction

python --model-dir <model_directory> --batch-size <batch_size> --use-ensemble True

  • <model_directory> is the location of root directory. The root directory contains the sub-directories containg each model.

You may command like python --model-dir model --batch-size 5000 --use-ensemble True.

Simulation results

CNN with the same hyper-parameters has been trained 30 times, and gives the following results.

  • A single model : 99.61% of accuracy.
    (the model is saved in "model/model01_99.61".)
  • Ensemble prediction : 99.72% of accuracy.
    (All 5 models under "model/" are used. I found the collection of 5 models by try and error.)

99.72% of accuracy is the 5th rank according to Here.


This implementation has been tested on Tensorflow r0.12.