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SGAS: Sequential Greedy Architecture Search

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Architecture design has become a crucial component of successful deep learning. Recent progress in automatic neural architecture search (NAS) shows a lot of promise. However, discovered architectures often fail to generalize in the final evaluation. Architectures with a higher validation accuracy during the search phase may perform worse in the evaluation. Aiming to alleviate this common issue, we introduce sequential greedy architecture search (SGAS), an efficient method for neural architecture search. By dividing the search procedure into sub-problems, SGAS chooses and prunes candidate operations in a greedy fashion. We apply SGAS to search architectures for Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Graph Convolutional Networks (GCN). Extensive experiments show that SGAS is able to find state-of-the-art architectures for tasks such as image classification, point cloud classification and node classification in protein-protein interaction graphs with minimal computational cost. Please visit https://sites.google.com/kaust.edu.sa/sgas for more information about SGAS.


MAPLE: Microprocessor A Priori for Latency Estimation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Modern deep neural networks must demonstrate state-of-the-art accuracy while exhibiting low latency and energy consumption. As such, neural architecture search (NAS) algorithms take these two constraints into account when generating a new architecture. However, efficiency metrics such as latency are typically hardware dependent requiring the NAS algorithm to either measure or predict the architecture latency. Measuring the latency of every evaluated architecture adds a significant amount of time to the NAS process. Here we propose Microprocessor A Priori for Latency Estimation MAPLE that does not rely on transfer learning or domain adaptation but instead generalizes to new hardware by incorporating a prior hardware characteristics during training. MAPLE takes advantage of a novel quantitative strategy to characterize the underlying microprocessor by measuring relevant hardware performance metrics, yielding a fine-grained and expressive hardware descriptor. Moreover, the proposed MAPLE benefits from the tightly coupled I/O between the CPU and GPU and their dependency to predict DNN latency on GPUs while measuring microprocessor performance hardware counters from the CPU feeding the GPU hardware. Through this quantitative strategy as the hardware descriptor, MAPLE can generalize to new hardware via a few shot adaptation strategy where with as few as 3 samples it exhibits a 3% improvement over state-of-the-art methods requiring as much as 10 samples. Experimental results showed that, increasing the few shot adaptation samples to 10 improves the accuracy significantly over the state-of-the-art methods by 12%. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that MAPLE exhibiting 8-10% better accuracy, on average, compared to relevant baselines at any number of adaptation samples.


BRP-NAS: Prediction-based NAS using GCNs

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Neural architecture search (NAS) enables researchers to automatically explore broad design spaces in order to improve efficiency of neural networks. This efficiency is especially important in the case of on-device deployment, where improvements in accuracy should be balanced out with computational demands of a model. In practice, performance metrics of model are computationally expensive to obtain. Previous work uses a proxy (e.g., number of operations) or a layer-wise measurement of neural network layers to estimate end-to-end hardware performance but the imprecise prediction diminishes the quality of NAS. To address this problem, we propose BRP-NAS, an efficient hardware-aware NAS enabled by an accurate performance predictor-based on graph convolutional network (GCN). What is more, we investigate prediction quality on different metrics and show that sample efficiency of the predictor-based NAS can be improved by considering binary relations of models and an iterative data selection strategy. We show that our proposed method outperforms all prior methods on NAS-Bench-101, NAS-Bench-201 and DARTS. Finally, to raise awareness of the fact that accurate latency estimation is not a trivial task, we release LatBench -- a latency dataset of NAS-Bench-201 models running on a broad range of devices.


UNAS: Differentiable Architecture Search Meets Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Neural architecture search (NAS) aims to discover network architectures with desired properties such as high accuracy or low latency. Recently, differentiable NAS (DNAS) has demonstrated promising results while maintaining a search cost orders of magnitude lower than reinforcement learning (RL) based NAS. However, DNAS models can only optimize differentiable loss functions in search, and they require an accurate differentiable approximation of non-differentiable criteria. In this work, we present UNAS, a unified framework for NAS, that encapsulates recent DNAS and RL-based approaches under one framework. Our framework brings the best of both worlds, and it enables us to search for architectures with both differentiable and non-differentiable criteria in one unified framework while maintaining a low search cost. Further, we introduce a new objective function for search based on the generalization gap that prevents the selection of architectures prone to overfitting. We present extensive experiments on the CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and ImageNet datasets and we perform search in two fundamentally different search spaces. We show that UNAS obtains the state-of-the-art average accuracy on all three datasets when compared to the architectures searched in the DARTS space. Moreover, we show that UNAS can find an efficient and accurate architecture in the ProxylessNAS search space, that outperforms existing MobileNetV2 based architectures.


Can weight sharing outperform random architecture search? An investigation with TuNAS

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Efficient Neural Architecture Search methods based on weight sharing have shown good promise in democratizing Neural Architecture Search for computer vision models. There is, however, an ongoing debate whether these efficient methods are significantly better than random search. Here we perform a thorough comparison between efficient and random search methods on a family of progressively larger and more challenging search spaces for image classification and detection on ImageNet and COCO. While the efficacies of both methods are problem-dependent, our experiments demonstrate that there are large, realistic tasks where efficient search methods can provide substantial gains over random search. In addition, we propose and evaluate techniques which improve the quality of searched architectures and reduce the need for manual hyper-parameter tuning. Source code and experiment data are available at https://github.com/google-research/google-research/tree/master/tunas