Facebook's Horizon RL platform goes open-source

Facebooks Horizon AI toolkit has been unlocked to the general public and released as an open-source platform


Facebook has announced that its recently unveiled Horizon AI platform will now be open-sourced. According to Facebook, Horizon AI has become the first open source end-to-end platform that uses applied RL to optimize systems in large-scale production environments.

Facebook software engineers David Gauci, Edoardo Conti and Kittipat Virochsirisaid that the platform was created to "bridge the gap between reinforcement learning's (RL's) growing impact in research and its traditionally narrow range of uses in production".

"Instead of driving models by writing rules that are difficult to interpret and maintain, we envision a two-way conversation between engineers and the models they work with, in which engineers can specify their high-level goals, and work in tandem with machine learning to realize these goals and adapt them to an ever-changing decision landscape," the engineers said.

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Facebook said that the RL platform can assist with vast number of datasets and make decisions at scale. The report said that while machine learning (ML) platforms generate predictions, ML systems require engineers to turn insights into action. With RL, however, insights can be turned into actions and can then adapt to the received feedback.

"An RL system can directly choose a high or low bitrate for a particular video while the video is playing, based on estimates from other ML systems and the state of the video buffers," the engineers commented.

The platform which launched earlier this year is said to already be providing performance benefits for Facebook such as delivering relevant notification and optimizing streaming video bitrates.

Furthermore, the engineers stated that with Horizon's open design and toolset, the platform has the "potential to benefit others in the field, particularly companies and research teams interested in using applied RL to learn policies from large amounts of information".

The software platform can be downloaded on the code repository GitHub.

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