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  1. Search spaces hallmark the advancement of Neural Architecture Search (NAS). Large and complex search spaces with versatile building operators and structures provide more opportunities to brew promising architectures, yet pose severe challenges on efficient exploration and exploitation. Subsequently, several search space shrinkage methods optimize by selecting a single sub-region that contains some well-performing networks. Small performance and efficiency gains are observed with these methods but such techniques leave room for significantly improved search performance and are ineffective at retaining architectural diversity. We propose LISSNAS, an automated algorithm that shrinks a large space into a diverse, small search space with SOTA search performance. Our approach leverages locality, the relationship between structural and performance similarity, to efficiently extract many pockets of well-performing networks. We showcase our method on an array of search spaces spanning various sizes and datasets. We accentuate the effectiveness of our shrunk spaces when used in one-shot search by achieving the best Top-1 accuracy in two different search spaces. Our method achieves a SOTA Top-1 accuracy of 77.6% in ImageNet under mobile constraints, best-in-class Kendal-Tau, architectural diversity, and search space size.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  3. The rise of deep neural networks offers new opportunities in optimizing recommender systems. However, optimizing recommender systems using deep neural networks requires delicate architecture fabrication. We propose NASRec, a paradigm that trains a single supernet and efficiently produces abundant models/sub-architectures by weight sharing. To overcome the data multi-modality and architecture heterogeneity challenges in the recommendation domain, NASRec establishes a large supernet (i.e., search space) to search the full architectures. The supernet incorporates versatile choice of operators and dense connectivity to minimize human efforts for finding priors. The scale and heterogeneity in NASRec impose several challenges, such as training inefficiency, operator-imbalance, and degraded rank correlation. We tackle these challenges by proposing single-operator any-connection sampling, operator-balancing interaction modules, and post-training fine-tuning. Our crafted models, NASRecNet, show promising results on three Click-Through Rates (CTR) prediction benchmarks, indicating that NASRec outperforms both manually designed models and existing NAS methods with state-of-the-art performance. Our work is publicly available here. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 30, 2024
  4. The interaction and dimension of points are two important axes in designing point operators to serve hierarchical 3D models. Yet, these two axes are heterogeneous and challenging to fully explore. Existing works craft point operator under a single axis and reuse the crafted operator in all parts of 3D models. This overlooks the opportunity to better combine point interactions and dimensions by exploiting varying geometry/density of 3D point clouds. In this work, we establish PIDS, a novel paradigm to jointly explore point interactions and point dimensions to serve semantic segmentation on point cloud data. We establish a large search space to jointly consider versatile point interactions and point dimensions. This supports point operators with various geometry/density considerations. The enlarged search space with heterogeneous search components calls for a better ranking of candidate models. To achieve this, we improve the search space exploration by leveraging predictor-based Neural Architecture Search (NAS), and enhance the quality of prediction by assigning unique encoding to heterogeneous search components based on their priors. We thoroughly evaluate the networks crafted by PIDS on two semantic segmentation benchmarks, showing 1% mIOU improvement on SemanticKITTI and S3DIS over state-of-the-art 3D models. 
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  5. The interaction and dimension of points are two important axes in designing point operators to serve hierarchical 3D models. Yet, these two axes are heterogeneous and challenging to fully explore. Existing works craft point operator under a single axis and reuse the crafted operator in all parts of 3D models. This overlooks the opportunity to better combine point interactions and dimensions by exploiting varying geometry/density of 3D point clouds. In this work, we establish PIDS, a novel paradigm to jointly explore point interactions and point dimensions to serve semantic segmentation on point cloud data. We establish a large search space to jointly consider versatile point interactions and point dimensions. This supports point operators with various geometry/density considerations. The enlarged search space with heterogeneous search components calls for a better ranking of candidate models. To achieve this, we improve the search space exploration by leveraging predictor-based Neural Architecture Search (NAS), and enhance the quality of prediction by assigning unique encoding to heterogeneous search components based on their priors. We thoroughly evaluate the networks crafted by PIDS on two semantic segmentation benchmarks, showing ∼ 1% mIOU improvement on SemanticKITTI and S3DIS over state-of-the-art 3D models. 
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  6. Applying machine learning (ML) in design flow is a popular trend in Electronic Design Automation (EDA) with various applications from design quality predictions to optimizations. Despite its promise, which has been demonstrated in both academic researches and industrial tools, its effectiveness largely hinges on the availability of a large amount of high-quality training data. In reality, EDA developers have very limited access to the latest design data, which is owned by design companies and mostly confidential. Although one can commission ML model training to a design company, the data of a single company might be still inadequate or biased, especially for small companies. Such data availability problem is becoming the limiting constraint on future growth of ML for chip design. In this work, we propose an Federated-Learning based approach for well-studied ML applications in EDA. Our approach allows an ML model to be collaboratively trained with data from multiple clients but without explicit access to the data for respecting their data privacy. To further strengthen the results, we co-design a customized ML model FLNet and its personalization under the decentralized training scenario. Experiments on a comprehensive dataset show that collaborative training improves accuracy by 11% compared with individual local models, and our customized model FLNet significantly outperforms the best of previous routability estimators in this collaborative training flow. 
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  7. Resource is an important constraint when deploying Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) on mobile and edge devices. Existing works commonly adopt the cell-based search approach, which limits the flexibility of network patterns in learned cell structures. Moreover, due to the topology-agnostic nature of existing works, including both cell-based and node-based approaches, the search process is time consuming and the performance of found architecture may be sub-optimal. To address these problems, we propose AutoShrink, a topology-aware Neural Architecture Search (NAS) for searching efficient building blocks of neural architectures. Our method is node-based and thus can learn flexible network patterns in cell structures within a topological search space. Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) are used to abstract DNN architectures and progressively optimize the cell structure through edge shrinking. As the search space intrinsically reduces as the edges are progressively shrunk, AutoShrink explores more flexible search space with even less search time. We evaluate AutoShrink on image classification and language tasks by crafting ShrinkCNN and ShrinkRNN models. ShrinkCNN is able to achieve up to 48% parameter reduction and save 34% Multiply-Accumulates (MACs) on ImageNet-1K with comparable accuracy of state-of-the-art (SOTA) models. Specifically, both ShrinkCNN and ShrinkRNN are crafted within 1.5 GPU hours, which is 7.2× and 6.7× faster than the crafting time of SOTA CNN and RNN models, respectively. 
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  8. Resource is an important constraint when deploying Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) on mobile and edge devices. Existing works commonly adopt the cell-based search approach, which limits the flexibility of network patterns in learned cell structures. Moreover, due to the topology-agnostic nature of existing works, including both cell-based and node-based approaches, the search process is time consuming and the performance of found architecture may be sub-optimal. To address these problems, we propose AutoShrink, a topologyaware Neural Architecture Search (NAS) for searching efficient building blocks of neural architectures. Our method is node-based and thus can learn flexible network patterns in cell structures within a topological search space. Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) are used to abstract DNN architectures and progressively optimize the cell structure through edge shrinking. As the search space intrinsically reduces as the edges are progressively shrunk, AutoShrink explores more flexible search space with even less search time. We evaluate AutoShrink on image classification and language tasks by crafting ShrinkCNN and ShrinkRNN models. ShrinkCNN is able to achieve up to 48% parameter reduction and save 34% Multiply-Accumulates (MACs) on ImageNet-1K with comparable accuracy of state-of-the-art (SOTA) models. Specifically, both ShrinkCNN and ShrinkRNN are crafted within 1.5 GPU hours, which is 7.2× and 6.7× faster than the crafting time of SOTA CNN and RNN models, respectively. 
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