NAS-Bench-x11 and the Power of Learning Curves

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Shen Yan, Colin White, Yash Savani, Frank Hutter

Abstract

While early research in neural architecture search (NAS) required extreme computational resources, the recent releases of tabular and surrogate benchmarks have greatly increased the speed and reproducibility of NAS research. However, two of the most popular benchmarks do not provide the full training information for each architecture. As a result, on these benchmarks it is not possible to evaluate many types of multi-fidelity algorithms, such as learning curve extrapolation, that require evaluating architectures at arbitrary epochs. In this work, we present a method using singular value decomposition and noise modeling to create surrogate benchmarks, NAS-Bench-111, NAS-Bench-311, and NAS-Bench-NLP11, that output the full training information for each architecture, rather than just the final validation accuracy. We demonstrate the power of using the full training information by introducing a learning curve extrapolation framework to modify single-fidelity algorithms, showing that it leads to improvements over popular single-fidelity algorithms which claimed to be state-of-the-art upon release.