d421: Best Practices Applying Deep Learning to Novel Applications

“Best Practices for Applying Deep Learning to Novel Applications” by Leslie N. Smith from Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence

This report is targeted to groups who are subject matter experts in their application but deep learning novices. It contains practical advice for those interested in testing the use of deep neural networks on applications that are novel for deep learning. We suggest making your project more manageable by dividing it into phases. For each phase this report contains numerous recommendations and insights to assist novice practitioners.

This report lays out many factors for you to consider when experimenting with deep learning on an application where it hasn’t been previously used. Not every item here will be relevant but I hope that it covers most of the factors you should consider during a project.


The Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence (NCARAI) has been involved in both basic and applied research in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, autonomy, and human-centered computing since its inception in 1981. NCARAI, part of the Information Technology Division within the Naval Research Laboratory, is engaged in research and development efforts designed to address the application of artificial intelligence technology and techniques to critical Navy and national problems.