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BatchEnsemble: An Alternative Approach to Efficient Ensemble and Lifelong Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Ensembles, where multiple neural networks are trained individually and their predictions are averaged, have been shown to be widely successful for improving both the accuracy and predictive uncertainty of single neural networks. However, an ensemble's cost for both training and testing increases linearly with the number of networks, which quickly becomes untenable. In this paper, we propose BatchEnsemble 1, an ensemble method whose computational and memory costs are significantly lower than typical ensembles. BatchEnsemble achieves this by defining each weight matrix to be the Hadamard product of a shared weight among all ensemble members and a rank-one matrix per member. Unlike ensembles, BatchEnsemble is not only parallelizable across devices, where one device trains one member, but also parallelizable within a device, where multiple ensemble members are updated simultaneously for a given mini-batch. Across CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, WMT14 EN-DE/EN-FR translation, and out-of-distribution tasks, BatchEnsemble yields competitive accuracy and uncertainties as typical ensembles; the speedup at test time is 3X and memory reduction is 3X at an ensemble of size 4. We also apply BatchEnsemble to lifelong learning, where on Split-CIFAR-100, BatchEnsemble yields comparable performance to progressive neural networks while having a much lower computational and memory costs. We further show that BatchEnsemble can easily scale up to lifelong learning on Split-ImageNet which involves 100 sequential learning tasks.


Multi-headed Neural Ensemble Search

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Ensembles of CNN models trained with different seeds (also known as Deep Ensembles) are known to achieve superior performance over a single copy of the CNN. Neural Ensemble Search (NES) can further boost performance by adding architectural diversity. However, the scope of NES remains prohibitive under limited computational resources. In this work, we extend NES to multi-headed ensembles, which consist of a shared backbone attached to multiple prediction heads. Unlike Deep Ensembles, these multi-headed ensembles can be trained end to end, which enables us to leverage one-shot NAS methods to optimize an ensemble objective. With extensive empirical evaluations, we demonstrate that multi-headed ensemble search finds robust ensembles 3 times faster, while having comparable performance to other ensemble search methods, in both predictive performance and uncertainty calibration.


Structured Ensembles: an Approach to Reduce the Memory Footprint of Ensemble Methods

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a novel ensembling technique for deep neural networks, which is able to drastically reduce the required memory compared to alternative approaches. In particular, we propose to extract multiple sub-networks from a single, untrained neural network by solving an end-to-end optimization task combining differentiable scaling over the original architecture, with multiple regularization terms favouring the diversity of the ensemble. Since our proposal aims to detect and extract sub-structures, we call it Structured Ensemble. On a large experimental evaluation, we show that our method can achieve higher or comparable accuracy to competing methods while requiring significantly less storage. In addition, we evaluate our ensembles in terms of predictive calibration and uncertainty, showing they compare favourably with the state-of-the-art. Finally, we draw a link with the continual learning literature, and we propose a modification of our framework to handle continuous streams of tasks with a sub-linear memory cost. We compare with a number of alternative strategies to mitigate catastrophic forgetting, highlighting advantages in terms of average accuracy and memory.


Deep Ensembles on a Fixed Memory Budget: One Wide Network or Several Thinner Ones?

arXiv.org Machine Learning

One of the generally accepted views of modern deep learning is that increasing the number of parameters usually leads to better quality. The two easiest ways to increase the number of parameters is to increase the size of the network, e.g. width, or to train a deep ensemble; both approaches improve the performance in practice. In this work, we consider a fixed memory budget setting, and investigate, what is more effective: to train a single wide network, or to perform a memory split -- to train an ensemble of several thinner networks, with the same total number of parameters? We find that, for large enough budgets, the number of networks in the ensemble, corresponding to the optimal memory split, is usually larger than one. Interestingly, this effect holds for the commonly used sizes of the standard architectures. For example, one WideResNet-28-10 achieves significantly worse test accuracy on CIFAR-100 than an ensemble of sixteen thinner WideResNets: 80.6% and 82.52% correspondingly. We call the described effect the Memory Split Advantage and show that it holds for a variety of datasets and model architectures.


What Are Bayesian Neural Network Posteriors Really Like?

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The posterior over Bayesian neural network (BNN) parameters is extremely high-dimensional and non-convex. For computational reasons, researchers approximate this posterior using inexpensive mini-batch methods such as mean-field variational inference or stochastic-gradient Markov chain Monte Carlo (SGMCMC). To investigate foundational questions in Bayesian deep learning, we instead use full-batch Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) on modern architectures. We show that (1) BNNs can achieve significant performance gains over standard training and deep ensembles; (2) a single long HMC chain can provide a comparable representation of the posterior to multiple shorter chains; (3) in contrast to recent studies, we find posterior tempering is not needed for near-optimal performance, with little evidence for a "cold posterior" effect, which we show is largely an artifact of data augmentation; (4) BMA performance is robust to the choice of prior scale, and relatively similar for diagonal Gaussian, mixture of Gaussian, and logistic priors; (5) Bayesian neural networks show surprisingly poor generalization under domain shift; (6) while cheaper alternatives such as deep ensembles and SGMCMC methods can provide good generalization, they provide distinct predictive distributions from HMC. Notably, deep ensemble predictive distributions are similarly close to HMC as standard SGLD, and closer than standard variational inference.