How much progress have we made in neural network training? A New Evaluation Protocol for Benchmarking Optimizers

10/19/2020
by   Yuanhao Xiong, et al.
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Many optimizers have been proposed for training deep neural networks, and they often have multiple hyperparameters, which make it tricky to benchmark their performance. In this work, we propose a new benchmarking protocol to evaluate both end-to-end efficiency (training a model from scratch without knowing the best hyperparameter) and data-addition training efficiency (the previously selected hyperparameters are used for periodically re-training the model with newly collected data). For end-to-end efficiency, unlike previous work that assumes random hyperparameter tuning, which over-emphasizes the tuning time, we propose to evaluate with a bandit hyperparameter tuning strategy. A human study is conducted to show that our evaluation protocol matches human tuning behavior better than the random search. For data-addition training, we propose a new protocol for assessing the hyperparameter sensitivity to data shift. We then apply the proposed benchmarking framework to 7 optimizers and various tasks, including computer vision, natural language processing, reinforcement learning, and graph mining. Our results show that there is no clear winner across all the tasks.

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