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Features ‚Äč

This doc is pretty much a copy-paste from here

A feature transformer is defined over a feature_set. A feature_set is a list of feature_blocks. Each feature_block contains a name, hash, num_real_features, num_virtual_features, num_features, and knows some stuff about how to manipulate its indices. The number of real features and virtual features is used to distinguish factorizers, because they have to be handled differently on serialization to .nnue. A feature_block consists of factors which are an OrderedDict of (str, int) pairs where the first is the name of the factor and the second is its size. The first factor is assumed to be real, all the following ones are assumed to be virtual. feature_set concatenates these blocks and exposes similar operations. A feature_block knows how to coalesce its feature to real features. A feature_block is identified by it's name, for example HalfKP is a block, as is HalfKP^ which denotes a factorized HalfKP (this is just a convention, but is strict and is used in some places for conversion ability discovery). A feature_set name is '+'.join(...) of names of its blocks.

From now on the feature set used for learning and serialization/deserialization has to be specified explicitly as a program argument. The new argument --features=... takes a name of the feature set. For example --features="HalfKP^" or --features="HalfKP" or some imaginary --features="HalfKP^+FancyFeatures+MoreFancyFeatures^". This argument is present in both and

The current semantics are as follows:

  1. When training a new net from scratch - --features specifies the feature set to use for learning. The feature transformer weights are initialized normally for the real features and zero initialized for the virtual features.
  2. When resuming training from a .pt model - --features specifies the feature set to use for learning. If the feature set specified doesn't match the feature set from the .pt model a conversion is attempted. Right now only a conversion of feature set with a single block from non-factorized to factorized is supported. The factorized block must have the non-factorized features as the first factor. The virtual feature weights are initialized to zero.
  3. When converting .ckpt to .nnue - --features specifies the features as stored in the .ckpt file. The user must pass the correct feature set through --features because it can't be inferred from the .ckpt. If the features from --features and the saved model don't match it'll likely stack trace on some dimension mismatch.
  4. When converting .pt to .nnue - --features is ignored, the feature_set from the saved model is used, the weights are coalesced when writing the .nnue file.
  5. When converting .nnue to .pt - --features specifies the features in the .nnue file. The resulting .pt model has the same feature_set. Note that when resuming training this model can be converted to a compatible feature_set, see point 2.