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Workshop: Workshop on Advancing Neural Network Training (WANT): Computational Efficiency, Scalability, and Resource Optimization

InstaTune: Instantaneous Neural Architecture Search During Fine-Tuning

Sharath Nittur Sridhar · Souvik Kundu · Sairam Sundaresan · Maciej Szankin · Anthony Sarah


One-Shot Neural Architecture Search (NAS) algorithms often rely on training a hardware agnostic super-network for a domain specific task. Optimal sub-networks are then extracted from the trained super-network for different hardware platforms. However, training super-networks from scratch can be extremely time consuming and compute intensive especially for large models that rely on a two-stage training process of pre-training and fine-tuning. State of the art pre-trained models are available for a wide range of tasks, but their large sizes significantly limits their applicability on various hardware platforms. We propose InstaTune, a method that leverages off-the-shelf pre-trained weights for large models and generates a super-network during the fine-tuning stage. InstaTune has multiple benefits. Firstly, since the process happens during fine-tuning, it minimizes the overall time and compute resources required for NAS. Secondly, the sub-networks extracted are optimized for the target task, unlike prior work that optimizes on the pre-training objective. Finally, InstaTune is easy to" plug and play" in existing frameworks. By using multi-objective evolutionary search algorithms along with lightly trained predictors, we find Pareto-optimal sub-networks that outperform their respective baselines across different performance objectives such as accuracy and MACs. Specifically, we demonstrate that our approach performs well across both unimodal (ViT and BERT) and multi-modal (BEiT-3) transformer based architectures.

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