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ProxylessNAS: Direct Neural Architecture Search on Target Task and Hardware

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Neural architecture search (NAS) has a great impact by automatically designing effective neural network architectures. However, the prohibitive computational demand of conventional NAS algorithms (e.g. $10^4$ GPU hours) makes it difficult to \emph{directly} search the architectures on large-scale tasks (e.g. ImageNet). Differentiable NAS can reduce the cost of GPU hours via a continuous representation of network architecture but suffers from the high GPU memory consumption issue (grow linearly w.r.t. candidate set size). As a result, they need to utilize~\emph{proxy} tasks, such as training on a smaller dataset, or learning with only a few blocks, or training just for a few epochs. These architectures optimized on proxy tasks are not guaranteed to be optimal on target task. In this paper, we present \emph{ProxylessNAS} that can \emph{directly} learn the architectures for large-scale target tasks and target hardware platforms. We address the high memory consumption issue of differentiable NAS and reduce the computational cost (GPU hours and GPU memory) to the same level of regular training while still allowing a large candidate set. Experiments on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet demonstrate the effectiveness of directness and specialization. On CIFAR-10, our model achieves 2.08\% test error with only 5.7M parameters, better than the previous state-of-the-art architecture AmoebaNet-B, while using 6$\times$ fewer parameters. On ImageNet, our model achieves 3.1\% better top-1 accuracy than MobileNetV2, while being 1.2$\times$ faster with measured GPU latency. We also apply ProxylessNAS to specialize neural architectures for hardware with direct hardware metrics (e.g. latency) and provide insights for efficient CNN architecture design.


MemNet: Memory-Efficiency Guided Neural Architecture Search with Augment-Trim learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recent studies on automatic neural architectures search have demonstrated significant performance, competitive to or even better than hand-crafted neural architectures. However, most of the existing network architecture tend to use residual, parallel structures and concatenation block between shallow and deep features to construct a large network. This requires large amounts of memory for storing both weights and feature maps. This is challenging for mobile and embedded devices since they may not have enough memory to perform inference with the designed large network model. To close this gap, we propose MemNet, an augment-trim learning-based neural network search framework that optimizes not only performance but also memory requirement. Specifically, it employs memory consumption based ranking score which forces an upper bound on memory consumption for navigating the search process. Experiment results show that, as compared to the state-of-the-art efficient designing methods, MemNet can find an architecture which can achieve competitive accuracy and save an average of 24.17% on the total memory needed.


Neural Architecture Optimization

Neural Information Processing Systems

Automatic neural architecture design has shown its potential in discovering powerful neural network architectures. Existing methods, no matter based on reinforcement learning or evolutionary algorithms (EA), conduct architecture search in a discrete space, which is highly inefficient. In this paper, we propose a simple and efficient method to automatic neural architecture design based on continuous optimization. We call this new approach neural architecture optimization (NAO). There are three key components in our proposed approach: (1) An encoder embeds/maps neural network architectures into a continuous space. (2) A predictor takes the continuous representation of a network as input and predicts its accuracy. (3) A decoder maps a continuous representation of a network back to its architecture. The performance predictor and the encoder enable us to perform gradient based optimization in the continuous space to find the embedding of a new architecture with potentially better accuracy. Such a better embedding is then decoded to a network by the decoder. Experiments show that the architecture discovered by our method is very competitive for image classification task on CIFAR-10 and language modeling task on PTB, outperforming or on par with the best results of previous architecture search methods with a significantly reduction of computational resources. Specifically we obtain $2.11\%$ test set error rate for CIFAR-10 image classification task and $56.0$ test set perplexity of PTB language modeling task. The best discovered architectures on both tasks are successfully transferred to other tasks such as CIFAR-100 and WikiText-2. Furthermore, combined with the recent proposed weight sharing mechanism, we discover powerful architecture on CIFAR-10 (with error rate $3.53\%$) and on PTB (with test set perplexity $56.6$), with very limited computational resources (less than $10$ GPU hours) for both tasks.


Neural Architecture Search with Bayesian Optimisation and Optimal Transport

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Bayesian Optimisation (BO) refers to a class of methods for global optimisation of a function $f$ which is only accessible via point evaluations. It is typically used in settings where $f$ is expensive to evaluate. A common use case for BO in machine learning is model selection, where it is not possible to analytically model the generalisation performance of a statistical model, and we resort to noisy and expensive training and validation procedures to choose the best model. Conventional BO methods have focused on Euclidean and categorical domains, which, in the context of model selection, only permits tuning scalar hyper-parameters of machine learning algorithms. However, with the surge of interest in deep learning, there is an increasing demand to tune neural network \emph{architectures}. In this work, we develop NASBOT, a Gaussian process based BO framework for neural architecture search. To accomplish this, we develop a distance metric in the space of neural network architectures which can be computed efficiently via an optimal transport program. This distance might be of independent interest to the deep learning community as it may find applications outside of BO. We demonstrate that NASBOT outperforms other alternatives for architecture search in several cross validation based model selection tasks on multi-layer perceptrons and convolutional neural networks.


Auto-GNN: Neural Architecture Search of Graph Neural Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Graph neural networks (GNN) has been successfully applied to operate on the graph-structured data. Given a specific scenario, rich human expertise and tremendous laborious trials are usually required to identify a suitable GNN architecture. It is because the performance of a GNN architecture is significantly affected by the choice of graph convolution components, such as aggregate function and hidden dimension. Neural architecture search (NAS) has shown its potential in discovering effective deep architectures for learning tasks in image and language modeling. However, existing NAS algorithms cannot be directly applied to the GNN search problem. First, the search space of GNN is different from the ones in existing NAS work. Second, the representation learning capacity of GNN architecture changes obviously with slight architecture modifications. It affects the search efficiency of traditional search methods. Third, widely used techniques in NAS such as parameter sharing might become unstable in GNN. To bridge the gap, we propose the automated graph neural networks (AGNN) framework, which aims to find an optimal GNN architecture within a predefined search space. A reinforcement learning based controller is designed to greedily validate architectures via small steps. AGNN has a novel parameter sharing strategy that enables homogeneous architectures to share parameters, based on a carefully-designed homogeneity definition. Experiments on real-world benchmark datasets demonstrate that the GNN architecture identified by AGNN achieves the best performance, comparing with existing handcrafted models and tradistional search methods.