This is the website of Simon Boehm. Currently, I’m a compiler engineering intern at AMD, where I work on deep learning accelerators. Earlier this year, I graduated from ETH with an MSc in Data Science.
Becoming a Better Programmer by Tightening Feedback LoopsMay 12, 2022
I’m interested in strategies to improve deliberately and continuously as a programmer.I wrote up this post as a rough working note to get thoughts on it from others. I’ve thought about this on and off for the last two years, and have talked to ~25 experienced programmers about it. Mostly, it feels like “programmer training” is not a topic that is taken very seriously, probably because this skill is hard to quantify. As there are no established strategies, the potential returns to thinking about this topic increase.
lleaves - Compiling Decision Trees for Fast Prediction using LLVMSeptember 20, 2021
Gradient-boosted decision trees are a commonly used machine learning algorithm that performs well on real-world tabular datasets. There are many libraries available for training them, most commonly LightGBM and XGBoost. Sadly few of the popular libraries are optimized for fast prediction & deployment. This leads to lots of wasted CPU cycles and unnecessary latency.
As a remedy, I spent the last few months building lleaves, an open-source decision tree compiler and Python package. It can be used as a drop-in replacement for LightGBM and speeds up inference by ≥10x. lleaves compiles decision trees via LLVM to generate optimized machine code. My goal is for lleaves to make state-of-the-art prediction speedups available to every Data Scientist. Check out the repo and install via pippip install lleaves or conda-forge!conda install -c conda-forge lleaves
René Girard & Mimetic Theory for Non-PhilosophersMay 27, 2020
Mimetic theory is a simple but immensely powerful concept. It explains how humans learn, why laws exist, and why too many people want to go into Finance. The idea was developed by René Girard, a french philosopher, member of the Académie Française and professor at Stanford. In the last few years, independent of Girard’s research, studies into imitation, formation of desire, and mirror neurons have been published that bring forward empirical justification for the theory. Let’s start by looking at the core concept of mimetic theory: Imitative desire.This is the primer I would have wanted to read before diving into the primary literature, which is eye-opening but can be dense.
The Normalizing Flow NetworkAugust 8, 2019
The Normalizing Flow Network (NFN) is a normalizing-flow based regression model, great at modelling complex conditional densities. Look at our recent paper on noise regularization for conditional density estimation for some results of using the NFN on real-world and benchmark regression datasets.
Less important posts
A List of my Favorite ToolsMay 29, 2022
A list of (mostly software) tools that I use more than once a week, and that help speed up my work. I recommend most things on this list to friends so often that I decided to write them up.
A Local Search EngineApril 30, 2021
A tool for searching through every document I've ever read, locally and within seconds.
Reading books and blogs works well enough for gaining knowledge. However both are almost useless as works of reference. Searching through a library of books (physical or digital) is just too slow to be useful. For searching through already read blogposts there seems to be no solution at all. So often I resort to Googling which shows me different, inferior sites instead of returning the things I have already read. This is inefficient and keeps me from drawing new connections between knowledge I've already consumed.
What I now use instead: A local tool that searches through my library of books, saved posts and notes while being as fast as Google. Just like Google, it is maintenance-free and money-free as well. Maintenance free because many self-built tools are a huge timesink, and I want this to save me time. Money free because I intend to keep this tool for many years and don't like continuous payments. All it took was plugging together a handful of well-built tools in a smart way, which I did in a single afternoon.