Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Datasets and Benchmarks Track
Renbo Tu, Nicholas Roberts, Misha Khodak, Junhong Shen, Frederic Sala, Ameet Talwalkar
Most existing neural architecture search (NAS) benchmarks and algorithms prioritize well-studied tasks, e.g. image classification on CIFAR or ImageNet. This makes the performance of NAS approaches in more diverse areas poorly understood. In this paper, we present NAS-Bench-360, a benchmark suite to evaluate methods on domains beyond those traditionally studied in architecture search, and use it to address the following question: do state-of-the-art NAS methods perform well on diverse tasks? To construct the benchmark, we curate ten tasks spanning a diverse array of application domains, dataset sizes, problem dimensionalities, and learning objectives. Each task is carefully chosen to interoperate with modern CNN-based search methods while possibly being far-afield from its original development domain. To speed up and reduce the cost of NAS research, for two of the tasks we release the precomputed performance of 15,625 architectures comprising a standard CNN search space. Experimentally, we show the need for more robust NAS evaluation of the kind NAS-Bench-360 enables by showing that several modern NAS procedures perform inconsistently across the ten tasks, with many catastrophically poor results. We also demonstrate how NAS-Bench-360 and its associated precomputed results will enable future scientific discoveries by testing whether several recent hypotheses promoted in the NAS literature hold on diverse tasks. NAS-Bench-360 is hosted at https://nb360.ml.cmu.edu.