Self-Tuning Networks: Amortizing the Hypergradient Computation for Hyperparameter Optimization

Microsoft Research shares this amazing talk on  the optimization of many deep learning hyperparameters can be formulated as a bilevel optimization problem.

While most black-box and gradient-based approaches require many independent training runs, we aim to adapt hyperparameters online as the network trains. The main challenge is to approximate the response Jacobian, which captures how the minimum of the inner objective changes as the hyperparameters are perturbed. To do this, we introduce the self-tuning network (STN), which fits a hypernetwork to approximate the best response function in the vicinity of the current hyperparameters. Differentiating through the hypernetwork lets us efficiently approximate the gradient of the validation loss with respect to the hyperparameters. We train the hypernetwork and hyperparameters jointly. Empirically, we can find hyperparameter settings competitive with Bayesian Optimization in a single run of training, and in some cases find hyperparameter schedules that outperform any fixed hyperparameter value.

Frank

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