Distributed Training on Large Data

dglke_dist_train trains knowledge graph embeddings on a cluster of machines. DGL-KE adopts the parameter-server architecture for distributed training.


In this architecture, the entity embeddings and relation embeddings are stored in DGL KVStore. The trainer processes pull the latest model from KVStore and push the calculated gradient to the KVStore to update the model. All the processes trains the KG embeddings with asynchronous SGD.


The command line provides the following arguments:

  • --model_name {TransE, TransE_l1, TransE_l2, TransR, RESCAL, DistMult, ComplEx, RotatE} The models provided by DGL-KE.
  • --data_path DATA_PATH The path of the directory where DGL-KE loads knowledge graph data.
  • --dataset DATA_SET The name of the knowledge graph stored under data_path. The knowledge graph should be generated by Partition script.
  • --format FORMAT The format of the dataset. For builtin knowledge graphs,the foramt should be built_in. For users own knowledge graphs,it needs to be raw_udd_{htr} or udd_{htr}.
  • --save_path SAVE_PATH The path of the directory where models and logs are saved.
  • --no_save_emb Disable saving the embeddings under save_path.
  • --max_step MAX_STEP The maximal number of steps to train the model in a single process. A step trains the model with a batch of data. In the case of multiprocessing training, the total number of training steps is MAX_STEP * NUM_PROC.
  • --batch_size BATCH_SIZE The batch size for training.
  • --batch_size_eval BATCH_SIZE_EVAL The batch size used for validation and test.
  • --neg_sample_size NEG_SAMPLE_SIZE The number of negative samples we use for each positive sample in the training.
  • --neg_deg_sample Construct negative samples proportional to vertex degree in the training. When this option is turned on, the number of negative samples per positive edge will be doubled. Half of the negative samples are generated uniformly whilethe other half are generated proportional to vertex degree.
  • --neg_deg_sample_eval Construct negative samples proportional to vertex degree in the evaluation.
  • --neg_sample_size_eval NEG_SAMPLE_SIZE_EVAL The number of negative samples we use to evaluate a positive sample.
  • --eval_percent EVAL_PERCENT Randomly sample some percentage of edges for evaluation.
  • --no_eval_filter Disable filter positive edges from randomly constructed negative edges for evaluation.
  • -log LOG_INTERVAL Print runtime of different components every x steps.
  • --test Evaluate the model on the test set after the model is trained.
  • --num_proc NUM_PROC The number of processes to train the model in parallel.
  • --num_thread NUM_THREAD The number of CPU threads to train the model in each process. This argument is used for multi-processing training.
  • --force_sync_interval FORCE_SYNC_INTERVAL We force a synchronization between processes every x steps formultiprocessing training. This potentially stablizes the training processto get a better performance. For multiprocessing training, it is set to 1000 by default.
  • --hidden_dim HIDDEN_DIM The embedding size of relation and entity.
  • --lr LR The learning rate. DGL-KE uses Adagrad to optimize the model parameters.
  • -g GAMMA or --gamma GAMMA The margin value in the score function. It is used by TransX and RotatE.
  • -de or --double_ent Double entitiy dim for complex number It is used by RotatE.
  • -dr or --double_rel Double relation dim for complex number.
  • -adv or --neg_adversarial_sampling Indicate whether to use negative adversarial sampling.It will weight negative samples with higher scores more.
  • -a ADVERSARIAL_TEMPERATURE or --adversarial_temperature ADVERSARIAL_TEMPERATURE The temperature used for negative adversarial sampling.
  • -rc REGULARIZATION_COEF or --regularization_coef REGULARIZATION_COEF The coefficient for regularization.
  • -rn REGULARIZATION_NORM or --regularization_norm REGULARIZATION_NORM norm used in regularization.
  • --path PATH Path of distributed workspace.
  • --ssh_key SSH_KEY ssh private key.
  • --ip_config IP_CONFIG Path of IP configuration file.
  • --num_client_proc NUM_CLIENT_PROC Number of worker processes on each machine.

The Steps for Distributed Training

Distributed training on DGL-KE usually involves three steps:

  1. Partition a knowledge graph.
  2. Copy partitioned data to remote machines.
  3. Invoke the distributed training job by dglke_dist_train.

Here we demonstrate how to training KG embedding on FB15k dataset using 4 machines. Note that, the FB15k is just a small dataset as our toy demo. An interested user can try it on Freebase, which contains 86M nodes and 338M edges.

Step 1: Prepare your machines

Assume that we have four machines with the following IP addresses:


Make sure that machine_0 has the permission to ssh to all the other machines.

Step 2: Prepare your data

Create a new directory called my_task on machine_0:

mkdir my_task

We use built-in FB15k as demo and paritition it into 4 parts:

dglke_partition --dataset FB15k -k 4 --data_path ~/my_task

Note that, in this demo, we have 4 machines so we set -k to 4. After this step, we can see 4 new directories called partition_0, partition_1, partition_2, and partition_3 in your FB15k dataset folder.

Create a new file called ip_config.txt in my_task, and write the following contents into it: 30050 8 30050 8 30050 8 30050 8

Each line in ip_config.txt is the KVStore configuration on each machine. For example, 30050 8 represents that, on machine_0, the IP is, the base port is 30050, and we start 8 servers on this machine. Note that, you can change the number of servers on each machine based on your machine capabilities. In our environment, the instance has 48 cores, and we set 8 cores to KVStore and 40 cores for worker processes.

After that, we can copy the my_task directory to all the remote machines:

scp -r ~/my_task
scp -r ~/my_task
scp -r ~/my_task

Step 3: Launch distributed jobs

Run the following command on machine_0 to start a distributed task:

dglke_dist_train --path ~/my_task --ip_config ~/my_task/ip_config.txt \
--num_client_proc 16 --model_name TransE_l2 --dataset FB15k --data_path ~/my_task --hidden_dim 400 \
--gamma 19.9 --lr 0.25 --batch_size 1000 --neg_sample_size 200 --max_step 500 --log_interval 100 \
--batch_size_eval 16 --test -adv --regularization_coef 1.00E-09 --num_thread 1

Most of the options we have already seen in previous sections. Here are some new options we need to know.

--path indicates the absolute path of our workspace. All the logs and trained embedding will be stored in this path.

--ip_config is the absolute path of ip_config.txt.

--num_client_proc has the same behaviors to --num_proc in single-machine training.

All the other options are the same as single-machine training. For some EC2 users, you can also set --ssh_key for right ssh permission.

If you don’t set --no_save_embed option. The trained KG embeddings will be stored in machine_0/my_task/ckpts by default.