Basically, my project is trying an approach that could, hopefully, achieve better results than the approach that is already in use in the company. (For those familiar with deep learning, I try to generate synthetic data for a task where data acquisition is expensive.)
However, after a lot of time and effort spent on this approach I see that the results are terrible. This new approach gives me worse rather than better results than the existing one, which means that at this moment all the effort has been a waste of time.
I feel stuck as I can't make any progress. Every single idea that I have that could potentially lead to improvements makes no difference. This is even worse than if I had worse results as in this case I could at least know what doesn't work. I feel that it is very hard to get any additional knowledge on this task as the experiments that I do don't validate any hypotheses. After months of working on this model, it still seems to me a complete black box.
As a result I end up working much more hours than agreed on in the contract, only to fail in generating any relevant new information or progress that I could report to my boss/advisor. I am spending a lot of time reviewing the code thinking that there must be something wrong.
Sometimes I wonder if my whole project is simply doomed to fail. Maybe this idea is simply not doable for the current task. And even though I feel that my advisor is aware of this danger, I can't help but feel that a failure of this project is a failure of me as a professional. After all, how can I be sure that I tried everything or that I correctly implemented those ideas?
Before this I was sure that being a AI researcher was the career that I wanted to follow. But now I feel that I can't cope with this level of anxiety and frustration. If it is like this for a M.Sc. project, I wonder how it would be for a Ph.D.
Did anyone have a similar experience in DL or even in another area? Can anyone with a Ph.D. share some thoughts whether things will continue to be like that?