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Eliminating the variability of cross-validation results.
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OpenMP
PRNG
COPYRIGHT
LIBLINEAR_LICENSE.TXT
README.TXT
installer.py

README.TXT

This project includes two patches for the LIBLINEAR library that make it
possible to parallelize the computation of cross-validation results and make
these results reproducible across platforms. The patches also eliminate the
random fluctuations associated with the sharing of the PRNG state in parallel
threads by storing the state in thread-local storage and re-initializing it
before each iteration of cross-validation.

The first patch replaces the PRNG implemented by the standard function rand()
with the SFMT PRNG and stores its state in thread-local storage (TLS). The patch
is built under the assumption that the SFMT source code has been deployed into
the 'SFMT' sub-directory and that SFMT.o has been compiled in that directory
(building SFMT.o is not required on Windows). The patch can be applied using the
following example command line:

$ patch -d [LIBLINEAR source directory] < PRNG/deploy_SFMT.diff

The second patch modifies the cross-validation loop in LIBLINEAR so that it is
parallelized using OpenMP. The patch also inserts the necessary flags into the
build files. It can be applied as follows:

$ patch -d [LIBLINEAR source directory] < OpenMP/deploy_OpenMP_to_CV.diff

The first patch uses the 'constructor' attribute, which is available since
gcc-2.7 (released in 1995). It also uses the '__thread' keyword, which is
available since gcc-3.3 (released in 2003). The minimum version of gcc that is
necessary for the second patch is 4.2. Both patches are compatible with Clang
since version 3.5, but OpenMP support is enabled in Clang by default since
version 3.8.

On macOS, the distribution of Clang included in Xcode does not include OpenMP,
which makes it incompatible with the second patch. However, it is possible to
install both OpenMP and also a distribution of Clang that supports it using
Homebrew with the following command:

$ brew install libomp llvm

This command installs the OpenMP library. It also installs the LLVM and Clang
versions that support OpenMP. These compilers can be set for the LIBLINEAR build
using 'CC' and 'CXX' environment variables, e.g., using the following two commands:

$ export CC=/usr/local/opt/llvm/bin/clang
$ export CXX=/usr/local/opt/llvm/bin/clang++

To summarize, there are only two requirements for building the patched version
of LIBLINEAR: 1) a C compiler that can build SFMT and 2) a C++ compiler that
supports the '__thread' keyword, the 'constructor' function attribute, OpenMP,
and can link with the SFMT built by the C compiler.


Then, build or rebuild LIBLINEAR as described in its documentation (e.g., using
make on Linux or MacOS and nmake on Windows with Visual Studio). If you applied
the OpenMP patch (which parallelizes cross-validation), then the build has to
use a C++ compiler that supports OpenMP.

To reproduce the results described in the paper, please use the following
command line:

$ train -c 4 -e 0.1 -v <num_folds> rcv1_train.binary

where <num_folds> specifies the number of folds, i.e., 5, 10, or 20.

The example data set rcv1_train can be downloaded from the following link:
https://www.csie.ntu.edu.tw/~cjlin/libsvmtools/datasets/binary.html#rcv1.binary

Both patches are released under the 3-clause BSD license (see COPYRIGHT). This
license is similar to the license used by the LIBLINEAR project; the only
difference is the copyright notice. The license used by LIBLINEAR is stored
in LIBLINEAR_LICENSE.TXT
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