Four short links: 17 May 2017

Shipping Apps, Cloud Economics, Computational Theory, and Imitation Learning

By Nat Torkington
May 17, 2017
  1. How Etsy Ships Apps — starts with a nifty summary of their chatops-based push process, then moves to how they tackle shipping for mobile apps. So, we built a vessel that coordinates the status, schedule, communications, and deploy tools for app releases. Here’s how Ship helps: (1) keeps track of who committed changes to a release; (2) sends Slack messages and emails to the right people about the relevant events; (3) manages the state and schedule of all releases.
  2. Usage Patterns and the Economics of the Cloud (Adrian Colyer) — cloud providers overwhelmingly use static pricing models; what’s going on? Here’s the short summary: the data shows that there is actually very little variation in demand volatility for cloud datacenters at the moment, thus the current pricing model makes sense. If you look more closely at actual CPU utilization rates, though, you see that behind the constantly powered-on VMs, there are true variations in usage patterns. Therefore, as we move to cloud-native applications, and especially to models such as serverless that can much more effortlessly and granularly scale up and down in response to changing demands, we can expect the optimum pricing models to also change. Even then, it appears that having just two price bands, peak and off-peak—with off-peak times set in advance, would obtain the majority of the efficiency gains available.
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  4. New Kind of Science — available free. (via Stephen Wolfram’s long article on NKoS and what’s happened in the last 15 years).
  5. One-Shot Imitation Learningideally, robots should be able to learn from very few demonstrations of any given task and instantly generalize to new situations of the same task, without requiring task-specific engineering. In this paper, we propose a meta-learning framework for achieving such capability, which we call one-shot imitation learning. (via OpenAI)
Post topics: Four Short Links