Efficient Forward Architecture Search
Hanzhang Hu · John Langford · Rich Caruana · Saurajit Mukherjee · Eric Horvitz · Debadeepta Dey

Thu Dec 12th 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #27

We propose a neural architecture search (NAS) algorithm, Petridish, to iteratively add shortcut connections to existing network layers. The added shortcut connections effectively perform gradient boosting on the augmented layers. The proposed algorithm is motivated by the feature selection algorithm forward stage-wise linear regression, since we consider NAS as a generalization of feature selection for regression, where NAS selects shortcuts among layers instead of selecting features. In order to reduce the number of trials of possible connection combinations, we train jointly all possible connections at each stage of growth while leveraging feature selection techniques to choose a subset of them. We experimentally show this process to be an efficient forward architecture search algorithm that can find competitive models using few GPU days in both the search space of repeatable network modules (cell-search) and the space of general networks (macro-search). Petridish is particularly well-suited for warm-starting from existing models crucial for lifelong-learning scenarios.

Author Information

Hanzhang Hu (Carnegie Mellon University)
John Langford (Microsoft Research New York)
Rich Caruana (Microsoft)
Saurajit Mukherjee (microsoft)
Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research)
Debadeepta Dey (Microsoft Research AI)

I am a researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction (ASI) group led by Dr. Eric Horvitz at Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA. I finished my PhD at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, where I was advised by Prof. J. Andrew (Drew) Bagnell. I do fundamental as well as applied research in machine learning, control and computer vision with applications to autonomous agents in general and robotics in particular. ​ My interests include decison-making under uncertainty, reinforcement learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning. As of January 2019 I am also serving as Affiliate Assistant Professor at The School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. I regularly review for NeurIPS, ICLR, ICML, ICRA, IROS, IJRR, JFR. On occasion for CVPR, ECCV, ICCV and Autonomous Robots.

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