Peer Bonus Experiences: Building tiny models for the ML community with TensorFlow

Friday, October 23, 2020

Almost all the current state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) models take quite a lot of disk space. This makes them particularly inefficient in production situations. A bulky machine learning model can be exposed as a REST API and hosted on cloud services, but that same bulk may lead to hefty infrastructure costs. And some applications may need to operate in low-bandwidth environments, making cloud-hosted models less practical.

In a perfect world, your models would live alongside your application, saving data transfer costs and complying with any regulatory requirements restricting what data can be sent to the cloud. But storing multi-gigabyte models on today’s devices just isn’t practical. The field of on-device ML is dedicated to the development of tools and techniques to produce tiny—yet high performing!—ML models. Progress has been slow, but steady!

There has never been a better time to learn about on-device ML and successfully apply it in your own projects. With frameworks like TensorFlow Lite, you have an exceptional toolset to optimize your bulky models while retaining as much performance as possible. TensorFlow Lite also makes it very easy for mobile application developers to integrate ML models with tools like metadata and ML Model Binding, Android codegen, and others.

What is TensorFlow Lite?

“TensorFlow Lite is a production ready, cross-platform framework for deploying ML on mobile devices and embedded systems.” - TensorFlow Youtube

TensorFlow Lite provides first-class support for Native Android and iOS-based integrations (with many additional features, such as delegates). TensorFlow Lite also supports other tiny computing platforms, such as microcontrollers. TensorFlow Lite’s optimization APIs produce world-class, fast, and well-performing machine learning models.

Venturing into TensorFlow Lite

Last year, I started playing around with TensorFlow Lite while developing projects for Raspberry Pi for Computer Vision, using the official documentation and this course to fuel my initial learning. Following this interest, I decided to join a voluntary working group focused on creating sample applications, writing out tutorials, and creating tiny models. This working group consists of individuals from different backgrounds passionate about teaching on-device machine learning to others. The group is coordinated by Khanh LeViet (TensorFlow Lite team) and Hoi Lam (Android ML team). This is by far one of the most active working groups I have ever seen. And, back in our starting days, Khanh proposed a few different state-of-art machine learning models that were great fits for on-device machine learning:

These ideas were enough for us to start spinning up Jupyter notebooks and VSCode. After months of work, we now have strong collaborations between machine learning GDEs and a bunch of different TensorFlow Lite models, sample applications, and tutorials for the community to learn from. Our collaborations have been fueled by the power of open source and all the tiny models that we have built together are available on TensorFlow Hub. There are numerous open source applications that we have built that demonstrate how to use these models.
The Cartoonizer model cartoonizes uploaded images

Margaret and I co-authored an end-to-end tutorial that was published from the official TensorFlow blog and published the TensorFlow Lite models on TensorFlow Hub. So far, the response we have received for this work has been truly mesmerizing. I’ve also shared my experiences with TensorFlow Lite in these blog posts and conference talks:

A Tale of Model Quantization in TF Lite
Plunging into Model Pruning in Deep Learning
A few good stuff in TF Lite
Doing more with TF Lite
Model Optimization 101

The power of collaboration

The working group is a tremendous opportunity for machine learning GDEs, Googlers, and passionate community individuals to collaborate and learn. We get to learn together, create together, and celebrate the joy of teaching others. I am immensely thankful, grateful, and humbled to be a part of this group. Lastly, I would like to wholeheartedly thank Khanh for being a pillar of support to us and for nominating me for the Google Open Source Peer Bonus Award.

By Sayak Paul, PyImageSearch—Guest Author

OpenTelemetry's First Release Candidates

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

OpenTelemetry has hit another milestone with the tracing specification reaching release candidate status.

With the specification now ready to go, expect to see tracing release candidates of the official APIs and SDKs over the next few weeks, along with updated exporters for Cloud Trace. In the coming months the same will follow for the metrics specification, followed by metrics release candidates of the APIs and SDKs and Cloud Monitoring exporters, followed by the project’s general availability. At this point we’ll switch our default application metrics and distributed tracing instrumentation from OpenCensus to OpenTelemetry.

This is exciting news for Google Cloud customers, as OpenTelemetry will enable even better observability experiences, both with Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Trace, or the third party monitoring and operations tools of your choice.

Originally posted on the on the OpenTelemetry blog.

Fuzzing internships for open source software

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Open source software is the foundation of many modern software products. Over the years, developers increasingly have relied on reusable open source components for their applications. It is paramount that these open source components are secure and reliable, as weaknesses impact those that build upon it.

Google cares deeply about the security of the open source ecosystem and recently launched the Open Source Security Foundation with other industry partners. Fuzzing is an automated testing technique to find bugs by feeding unexpected inputs to a target program. At Google, we leverage fuzzing at scale to find tens of thousands of security vulnerabilities and stability bugs. This summer, as part of Google’s OSS internship initiative, we hosted 50 interns to improve the state of fuzz testing in the open source ecosystem.

The fuzzing interns worked towards integrating new projects and improving existing ones in OSS-Fuzz, our continuous fuzzing service for the open source community (which has 350+ projects, 22,700 bugs, 89% fixed). Several widely used open source libraries including but not limited to nginx, postgresql, usrsctp, and openexr, now have continuous fuzzing coverage as a result of these efforts.

Another group of interns focused on improving the security of the Linux kernel. syzkaller, a kernel fuzzing tool from Google, has been instrumental in finding kernel vulnerabilities in various operating systems. The interns were tasked with improving the fuzzing coverage by adding new descriptions to syzkaller like ip tunnels, io_uring, and bpf_lsm for example, refining the interface description language, and advancing kernel fault injection capabilities.

Some interns chose to write fuzzers for Android and Chrome, which are open source projects that billions of internet users rely on. For Android, the interns contributed several new fuzzers for uncovered areas - network protocols such as pppd and dns, audio codecs like monoblend, g722, and android framework. On the Chrome side, interns improved existing blackbox fuzzers, particularly in the areas: DOM, IPC, media, extensions, and added new libprotobuf-based fuzzers for Mojo.

Our last set of interns researched quite a few under-explored areas of fuzzing, some of which were fuzzer benchmarking, ML based fuzzing, differential fuzzing, bazel rules for build simplification and made useful contributions.

Over the course of the internship, our interns have reported over 150 security vulnerabilities and 750 functional bugs. Given the overall success of these efforts, we plan to continue hosting fuzzing internships every year to help secure the open source ecosystem and teach incoming open source contributors about the importance of fuzzing. For more information on the Google internship program and other student opportunities, check out We encourage you to apply.

By: Abhishek Arya, Google Chrome Security