Training and Inference with HugeCTR Model

In this folder, we provide two example notebooks, Training-with-HugeCTR and Triton-Inference-with-HugeCTR, and explain the steps to do inference with Merlin Inference API after training a model with HugeCTR framework.

Getting Started

There are two containers that are needed in order to use the Merlin Inference API. The first one is for preprocessing with NVTabular and training a model with HugeCTR framework. The other one is for serving/inference.

1. Pull the Merlin Training Docker Container:

We start with pulling the Merlin-Training container. This is to do preprocessing, feature engineering on our datasets using NVTabular, and then to train a DL model with HugeCTR framework with processed datasets.

Before starting docker container, first create a nvt_triton directory and data subdirectory on your host machine:

mkdir -p nvt_triton/data/
cd nvt_triton

We will mount nvt_triton directory into the NVTabular docker container.

Merlin containers are available in the NVIDIA container repository at the following location:

You can pull the Merlin-Training container by running the following command:

docker run --gpus=all -it -v ${PWD}:/model/ -p 8888:8888 -p 8797:8787 -p 8796:8786 --ipc=host /bin/bash

The container will open a shell when the run command execution is completed. You’ll have to start the jupyter lab on the Docker container. It should look similar to this:

  1. Start the jupyter-lab server by running the following command. In case the container does not have JupyterLab, you can easily install it using pip.

jupyter-lab --allow-root --ip='' --NotebookApp.token='<password>'

Open any browser to access the jupyter-lab server using https://<host IP-Address>:8888.

2. Run example notebooks:

There are two example notebooks that should be run in order. The first one Training-with-HugeCTR shows how to

  • do preprocessing with NVTabular

  • serialize and save a workflow to load later to transform new dataset

  • train a HugeCTR MLP model and save it in the /models directory.

The following notebook Triton-Inference-with-HugeCTR shows how to send request to Triton IS

  • to transform new data with NVTabular

  • to generate prediction results for new dataset.

Now you can start Training-with-HugeCTR and Triton-Inference-with-HugeCTR notebooks. Note that you need to mount the directory where your NVTAbular workflow and HugeCTR model is saved when launching the tritonserver docker image as shown below. Then you can run the Triton-Inference-with-HugeCTR example notebook once the server is started.

3. Build and Run the Triton Inference Server container:

  1. Navigate to the nvt_triton directory that you saved NVTabular workflow, Tensorflow model and the ensemble model.

cd <path to nvt_triton>
  1. Launch Merlin Triton Inference Server container:

docker run -it --gpus=all --shm-size=1g --ulimit memlock=-1 --ulimit stack=67108864 -p 8000:8000 -p 8001:8001 -p 8002:8002 -v ${PWD}:/model/

The container will open a shell when the run command execution is completed. It should look similar to this:

  1. Your saved models should be in the /model directory. Navigate to the model working directory inside the triton server container to check the saved models:

cd /model
  1. Start the triton server and run Triton with the example model repository you just created. Note that you need to provide correct path for the models directory, and movielens.json file.

tritonserver --model-repository=/model/models/ --backend-config=hugectr,movielens=/model/models/movielens/1/movielens.json --backend-config=hugectr,supportlonglong=true --model-control-mode=explicit

After you start Triton you will see output on the console showing the server starting up. At this stage it does not load any model, you will load the movielens_ens model in the Triton-Inference-with-HugeCTR notebook to be able to send the request. All the models should load successfully. If a model fails to load the status will report the failure and a reason for the failure. Once the models are successfully loaded, you can send requests to the Triton IS.