Kicking neural network design automation into high gear

MIT News 

A new area in artificial intelligence involves using algorithms to automatically design machine-learning systems known as neural networks, which are more accurate and efficient than those developed by human engineers. But this so-called neural architecture search (NAS) technique is computationally expensive. A state-of-the-art NAS algorithm recently developed by Google to run on a squad of graphical processing units (GPUs) took 48,000 GPU hours to produce a single convolutional neural network, which is used for image classification and detection tasks. Google has the wherewithal to run hundreds of GPUs and other specialized hardware in parallel, but that's out of reach for many others. In a paper being presented at the International Conference on Learning Representations in May, MIT researchers describe an NAS algorithm that can directly learn specialized convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for target hardware platforms -- when run on a massive image dataset -- in only 200 GPU hours, which could enable far broader use of these types of algorithms.