Enhancing the Locality and Breaking the Memory Bottleneck of Transformer on Time Series Forecasting

Neural Information Processing Systems

Time series forecasting is an important problem across many domains, including predictions of solar plant energy output, electricity consumption, and traffic jam situation. In this paper, we propose to tackle such forecasting problem with Transformer. Although impressed by its performance in our preliminary study, we found its two major weaknesses: (1) locality-agnostics: the point-wise dot- product self-attention in canonical Transformer architecture is insensitive to local context, which can make the model prone to anomalies in time series; (2) memory bottleneck: space complexity of canonical Transformer grows quadratically with sequence length L, making directly modeling long time series infeasible. In order to solve these two issues, we first propose convolutional self-attention by producing queries and keys with causal convolution so that local context can be better incorporated into attention mechanism. Then, we propose LogSparse Transformer with only O(L(log L) 2) memory cost, improving forecasting accuracy for time series with fine granularity and strong long-term dependencies under constrained memory budget.

You May Not Need Order in Time Series Forecasting

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Time series forecasting with limited data is a challenging yet critical task. While transformers have achieved outstanding performances in time series forecasting, they often require many training samples due to the large number of trainable parameters. In this paper, we propose a training technique for transformers that prepares the training windows through random sampling. As input time steps need not be consecutive, the number of distinct samples increases from linearly to combinatorially many. By breaking the temporal order, this technique also helps transformers to capture dependencies among time steps in finer granularity. We achieve competitive results compared to the state-of-the-art on real-world datasets.

Deep Transformer Models for Time Series Forecasting: The Influenza Prevalence Case

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this paper, we present a new approach to time series forecasting. Time series data are prevalent in many scientific and engineering disciplines. Time series forecasting is a crucial task in modeling time series data, and is an important area of machine learning. In this work we developed a novel method that employs Transformer-based machine learning models to forecast time series data. This approach works by leveraging self-attention mechanisms to learn complex patterns and dynamics from time series data. Moreover, it is a generic framework and can be applied to univariate and multivariate time series data, as well as time series embeddings. Using influenza-like illness (ILI) forecasting as a case study, we show that the forecasting results produced by our approach are favorably comparable to the state-of-the-art.

A Memory-Network Based Solution for Multivariate Time-Series Forecasting

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Multivariate time series forecasting is extensively studied throughout the years with ubiquitous applications in areas such as finance, traffic, environment, etc. Still, concerns have been raised on traditional methods for incapable of modeling complex patterns or dependencies lying in real word data. To address such concerns, various deep learning models, mainly Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) based methods, are proposed. Nevertheless, capturing extremely long-term patterns while effectively incorporating information from other variables remains a challenge for time-series forecasting. Furthermore, lack-of-explainability remains one serious drawback for deep neural network models. Inspired by Memory Network proposed for solving the question-answering task, we propose a deep learning based model named Memory Time-series network (MTNet) for time series forecasting. MTNet consists of a large memory component, three separate encoders, and an autoregressive component to train jointly. Additionally, the attention mechanism designed enable MTNet to be highly interpretable. We can easily tell which part of the historic data is referenced the most.

r/MachineLearning - [R] FacebookAI releases Adaptive attention span and All-attention layer to reduce decrease computation time / memory footprint


To enable wider use of this powerful deep learning architecture, we propose two new methods. The first, adaptive attention span is a way to make Transformer networks more efficient for longer sentences. With this method, we were able to increase the attention span of a Transformer to over 8,000 tokens without significantly increasing computation time or memory footprint. The second, all-attention layer is a way to simplify the model architecture of Transformer networks. Even with a much simpler architecture, our all-attention network matched the state-of-the-art performance of Transformer networks.