ASAP: Architecture Search, Anneal and Prune

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Asaf Noy, Niv Nayman, Tal Ridnik, Nadav Zamir, Sivan Doveh, Itamar Friedman, Raja Giryes, Lihi Zelnik ;
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:493-503, 2020.

Abstract

Automatic methods for Neural ArchitectureSearch (NAS) have been shown to produce state-of-the-art network models, yet, their main drawback is the computational complexity of the search process. As some primal methods optimized over a discrete search space, thousands of days of GPU were required for convergence. A recent approach is based on constructing a differentiable search space that enables gradient-based optimization, thus reducing the search time to a few days. While successful, such methods still include some incontinuous steps, e.g., the pruning of many weak connections at once. In this paper, we propose a differentiable search space that allows the annealing of architecture weights, while gradually pruning inferior operations, thus the search converges to a single output network in a continuous manner. Experiments on several vision datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method with respect to the search cost, accuracy and the memory footprint of the achieved model.

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