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BatchBALD: Efficient and Diverse Batch Acquisition for Deep Bayesian Active Learning

Neural Information Processing Systems

We develop BatchBALD, a tractable approximation to the mutual information between a batch of points and model parameters, which we use as an acquisition function to select multiple informative points jointly for the task of deep Bayesian active learning. BatchBALD is a greedy linear-time $1 - icefrac{1}{e}$-approximate algorithm amenable to dynamic programming and efficient caching. We compare BatchBALD to the commonly used approach for batch data acquisition and find that the current approach acquires similar and redundant points, sometimes performing worse than randomly acquiring data. We finish by showing that, using BatchBALD to consider dependencies within an acquisition batch, we achieve new state of the art performance on standard benchmarks, providing substantial data efficiency improvements in batch acquisition. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Augment your batch: better training with larger batches

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Large-batch SGD is important for scaling training of deep neural networks. However, without fine-tuning hyperparameter schedules, the generalization of the model may be hampered. We propose to use batch augmentation: replicating instances of samples within the same batch with different data augmentations. Batch augmentation acts as a regularizer and an accelerator, increasing both generalization and performance scaling. We analyze the effect of batch augmentation on gradient variance and show that it empirically improves convergence for a wide variety of deep neural networks and datasets. Our results show that batch augmentation reduces the number of necessary SGD updates to achieve the same accuracy as the state-of-the-art. Overall, this simple yet effective method enables faster training and better generalization by allowing more computational resources to be used concurrently.


Big Batch SGD: Automated Inference using Adaptive Batch Sizes

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Classical stochastic gradient methods for optimization rely on noisy gradient approximations that become progressively less accurate as iterates approach a solution. The large noise and small signal in the resulting gradients makes it difficult to use them for adaptive stepsize selection and automatic stopping. We propose alternative "big batch" SGD schemes that adaptively grow the batch size over time to maintain a nearly constant signal-to-noise ratio in the gradient approximation. The resulting methods have similar convergence rates to classical SGD, and do not require convexity of the objective. The high fidelity gradients enable automated learning rate selection and do not require stepsize decay. Big batch methods are thus easily automated and can run with little or no oversight.


Batch Selection for Parallelisation of Bayesian Quadrature

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Integration over non-negative integrands is a central problem in machine learning (e.g. for model averaging, (hyper-)parameter marginalisation, and computing posterior predictive distributions). Bayesian Quadrature is a probabilistic numerical integration technique that performs promisingly when compared to traditional Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. However, in contrast to easily-parallelised MCMC methods, Bayesian Quadrature methods have, thus far, been essentially serial in nature, selecting a single point to sample at each step of the algorithm. We deliver methods to select batches of points at each step, based upon those recently presented in the Batch Bayesian Optimisation literature. Such parallelisation significantly reduces computation time, especially when the integrand is expensive to sample.


Large batch size training of neural networks with adversarial training and second-order information

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) methods using randomly selected batches are widely-used to train neural network (NN) models. Performing design exploration to find the best NN for a particular task often requires extensive training with different models on a large dataset, which is very computationally expensive. The most straightforward method to accelerate this computation is to distribute the batch of SGD over multiple processors. To keep the distributed processors fully utilized requires commensurately growing the batch size; however, large batch training often times leads to degradation in accuracy, poor generalization, and even poor robustness to adversarial attacks. Existing solutions for large batch training either significantly degrade accuracy or require massive hyper-parameter tuning. To address this issue, we propose a novel large batch training method which combines recent results in adversarial training (to regularize against `sharp minima') and second order optimization (to use curvature information to change batch size adaptively during training). We extensively evaluate our method on Cifar-10/100, SVHN, TinyImageNet, and ImageNet datasets, using multiple NNs, including residual networks as well as smaller networks for mobile applications such as SqueezeNext. Our new approach exceeds the performance of the existing solutions in terms of both accuracy and the number of SGD iterations (up to 1\% and $5\times$, respectively). We emphasize that this is achieved without any additional hyper-parameter tuning to tailor our proposed method in any of these experiments.