Skip to main content
SUBMIT A PRSUBMIT AN ISSUElast edit: Jul 23, 2024

Consensus-based Weights

This guide describes how to use the consensus-based weights feature (also called "liquid alpha").

With this feature, a subnet validator's dividends are better correlated to the performance of the subnet miner on which the subnet validator is setting the weights. In this context, see also the documentation for the Commit Reveal feature, as both these features help the subnet validators find new subnet miners that perform well and bond to them quickly.

Technical paper, blog

Collab notebooks

A subnet owner can run the weight_copy/liquid_alpha_diagnostic.ipynb in the Python notebook below to experiment and choose the right values for the hyperparameters alpha_low, alpha_high, and commit_reveal_interval.

Description

Currently, while calculating the dividends to a subnet validator, a quantity called ΔBij\Delta B_{ij}, defined as an instantaneous bond value of a subnet validator ii with the subnet miner jj, is used.

A subnet validator maintains an instantaneous bond value on each subnet miner. However, while calculating a subnet validator's dividends, instead of directly using the instantaneous bond value ΔBij\Delta B_{ij}, we use Bij(t)B_{ij}^{(t)}, an exponential moving average (EMA) of the bond value, weighted over the current epoch and the previous epoch. See the below equation for how this EMA is computed, where tt is the current epoch time and t1t-1 is the previous epoch time:

Bij(t)=αΔBij(t)+(1α)Bij(t1)B_{ij}^{(t)} = \alpha\cdot\Delta B_{ij}^{(t)} + (1-\alpha)\cdot B_{ij}^{(t-1)}

This EMA, Bij(t)B_{ij}^{(t)}, helps in the early discovery of promising subnet miners and prevents abrupt changes to the bond value. Typically, any abrupt change in the bond value indicates exploitation.

Finally, the dividend DiD_i to a subnet validator ii is calculated as:

Di=jBijIjD_i = \sum_j B_{ij} \cdot I_j

where BijB_{ij} is the EMA bond value of the subnet validator ii with the subnet miner jj, and IjI_j is the subnet miner's incentive. See the subtensor document section, Validator bonding for a rigorous mathematical treatment of this topic.

What changed with this feature

Without the consensus-based weights feature, the α\alpha in the above equation is set to 0.9. With the consensus-based weights feature, this α\alpha value is made into a variable. An optimum value for the variable α\alpha is determined based on the current consensus (YC-2) in a given subnet. Hence, this feature is called consensus-based weights.

Using the new subnet hyperparameters that are described below, a subnet owner should experiment and discover the optimum α\alpha for their subnet.

Installing the consensus-based weights feature

The consensus-based weights feature is available in Bittensor 7.3.0 and later versions. To use this feature, make sure you update to the 7.3.0 version.


Using test consensus-based weights feature

Summary steps

Here are summary steps to use the consensus-based weights feature. A subnet owner typically executes these steps:

  1. To activate this feature, a subnet owner should set the liquid_alpha_enabled (bool) hyperparameter to True.
  2. Next, the subnet owner should set the upper and lower bounds for α\alpha by using a single subnet hyperparameter, alpha_values (List[int]).
Set alpha low and high together

You must set alpha_low and alpha_high together using alpha_values. See below.


Default values, allowed ranges and value format

Default values

  • The default value for alpha_low is 0.7.
  • The default value for alpha_high is 0.9.
  • The default value for liquid_alpha_enabled is False.

Allowed ranges

  • The range for both alpha_low and alpha_high hyperparameters is (0,1).
  • However, until further notice, the alpha_high value must be greater than or equal to 0.8.
  • The value of alpha_low must not be greater than or equal to alpha_high.

Value format

When you set the subnet hyperparameters alpha_low and alpha_high, you must pass their integer equivalents in u16. This applies whether you set these hyperparameters using the btcli command or in your Python code. These integer values are then converted by the subtensor into their corresponding decimal values in the u16 format.

Use the below conversion formula to determine the integer values for your desired decimal values for both alpha_low and alpha_high hyperparameters.

Integer value=(your-desired-decimal-value)×65535\text{Integer value} = \text{(your-desired-decimal-value)} \times 65535

Hence, for example:

  • If you want alpha_low to be 0.1, then you would pass 6554, which is the rounded up value of 0.1 * 65535.
  • If you want alpha_high to be 0.8, then you would pass 52428, which is the value of 0.8 * 65535.

Detailed steps using Python code

Method signatures

See below the Python definitions for the consensus-based weights feature:

import bittensor as bt

wallet = bt.wallet(name=<my_coldkey>)
subtensor = bt.subtensor(network="127.0.0.1:9946")

# Enable consensus-based weights (liquid alpha) feature
enabled_result = subtensor.set_hyperparameter(
wallet=wallet,
netuid=<your_preferred_netuid>,
parameter="liquid_alpha_enabled",
value=value,
wait_for_inclusion=True,
wait_for_finalization=True,
)
print(enabled_result)

# Set alpha_values as a list of integers passed to "value" parameter in this order: alpha_low, alpha_high
alpha_low_high_result = subtensor.set_hyperparameter(
wallet=wallet,
netuid=<your_preferred_netuid>,
parameter="alpha_values",
value=[], # decimal 0.1 for alpha_low and 0.8 for alpha_high
wait_for_inclusion=True,
wait_for_finalization=True,
)
print(alpha_low_high_result)

Example Python code

Below is the example Python code showing how to use the above definitions for the commit reveal feature:

import bittensor as bt

wallet = bt.wallet(name="test-coldkey")
subtensor = bt.subtensor(network="127.0.0.1:9946")

# Enable consensus-based weights (liquid alpha) feature
enabled_result = subtensor.set_hyperparameter(
wallet=wallet,
netuid=1,
parameter="liquid_alpha_enabled",
value=True,
wait_for_inclusion=True,
wait_for_finalization=True,
)
print(enabled_result)

# Set alpha low and high values
alpha_low_high_result = subtensor.set_hyperparameter(
wallet=wallet,
netuid=1,
parameter="alpha_values",
value=[6554, 52428], # decimal 0.1 for alpha_low and 0.8 for alpha_high
wait_for_inclusion=True,
wait_for_finalization=True,
)
print(alpha_low_high_result)
you must always set alpha_low and alpha_high together

You must set the values for both alpha_low and alpha_high together. Current functionality does not allow setting a value to only one of alpha_low or alpha_high.

For example, if you want to set a new value to alpha_low but do not want to change the alpha_high value, you must pass the new value of alpha_low, and also the current, unchanging value of alpha_high, while setting the alpha_values.


Detailed steps using btcli

Set the subnet hyperparameters

1. Enable the consensus-based weights feature

Syntax

btcli sudo set hyperparameters --netuid <your_preferred_netuid> --param liquid_alpha_enabled --value <True> or <False>

Example

For subnet 1 (netuid of 1):

btcli sudo set hyperparameters --netuid 1 --param liquid_alpha_enabled --value True

or you can also use,

btcli sudo set

and follow the terminal prompts:

>> Enter wallet name (default):    # <my_coldkey>
>> Enter netuid [0/1/2/3] (0): # <your_preferred_netuid>
>> Enter hyperparameter: # <liquid_alpha_enabled>
>> Enter new value: # <True> or <False>
>> Enter password to unlock key: # <password>
tip

When you use btcli sudo set you can use 1 or 0 to enable or disable the liquid_alpha_enabled hyperparameter. You can also use true or True, or false or False.

2. Use the alpha_values to set the alpha_low and alpha_high

Syntax

btcli sudo set hyperparameters --netuid <your_preferred_netuid> --param alpha_values --value <value-of-alpha_low,value-of-alpha_high>

Example

Setting the value of alpha_low to the decimal 0.1 (integer 6554) and alpha_high to the decimal 0.8 (integer 52428) for subnet 1 (netuid of 1):

btcli sudo set hyperparameters --netuid 1 --param alpha_values --value 6554,52429

Output:

>> Enter wallet name (default):    # <my_coldkey>
>> Enter password to unlock key: # <password>
>> ✅ Hyper parameter alpha_values changed to [6554.0, 55706.0]

Now, if you want to only change the alpha_high value from 0.8 to 0.85 (integer 55705), then:

First, execute the btcli sudo set command and provide the netuid. The terminal will display the current alpha_lowandalpha_high` values.

alert

When you use btcli sudo set, the display will not show the alpha_values parameter. It will only show the alpha_low and alpha_high parameters.

Use the current value of alpha_low from the above display and the new desired value of alpha_high and set both like below:

btcli sudo set hyperparameters --netuid 1 --param alpha_values --value 6554,55706