An Aggressive Genetic Programming Approach for Searching Neural Network Structure Under Computational Constraints [article]

Zhe Li, Xuehan Xiong, Zhou Ren, Ning Zhang, Xiaoyu Wang, Tianbao Yang
2018 arXiv   pre-print
Recently, there emerged revived interests of designing automatic programs (e.g., using genetic/evolutionary algorithms) to optimize the structure of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for a specific task. The challenge in designing such programs lies in how to balance between large search space of the network structures and high computational costs. Existing works either impose strong restrictions on the search space or use enormous computing resources. In this paper, we study how to design a
more » ... genetic programming approach for optimizing the structure of a CNN for a given task under limited computational resources yet without imposing strong restrictions on the search space. To reduce the computational costs, we propose two general strategies that are observed to be helpful: (i) aggressively selecting strongest individuals for survival and reproduction, and killing weaker individuals at a very early age; (ii) increasing mutation frequency to encourage diversity and faster evolution. The combined strategy with additional optimization techniques allows us to explore a large search space but with affordable computational costs. Our results on standard benchmark datasets (MNIST, SVHN, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100) are competitive to similar approaches with significantly reduced computational costs.
arXiv:1806.00851v1 fatcat:skbwddtvonhkfkihpjhzyyyrk4