Hardware-Aware Distributed Hyperparameter Optimization

Keywords: Keywords: machine learning, hyperparameters, optimization, distributed computing, connectomics
Spring 2017 - Present
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Computer vision is experiencing an AI renaissance, in which machine learning models are expediting important breakthroughs in academic research and commercial applications. Effectively training these models, however, is not trivial due in part to hyperparameters: user-configured values that control a model’s ability to learn from data. Existing hyperparameter optimization methods are highly parallel but make no effort to balance the search across heterogeneous hardware or to prioritize searching high-impact spaces.

In this work, we introduce a framework for massively Scalable Hardware-Aware Distributed Hyperparameter Optimization (SHADHO). Our framework calculates the relative complexity of each search space and monitors performance on the learning task over all trials. These metrics are then used as heuristics to assign hyperparameters to distributed workers based on their hardware. We first demonstrate that our framework achieves double the throughput of a standard distributed hyperparameter optimization framework by optimizing SVM for MNIST using 150 distributed workers. We then conduct model search with SHADHO over the course of one week using 74 GPUs across two compute clusters to optimize U-Net for a cell segmentation task, discovering 515 models that achieve a lower validation loss than standard U-Net.

This work was supported by IARPA contract #D16PC00002, the NVIDIA Corporation, and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported under Contract DE-AC02-06CH11357


  • "SHADHO: Massively Scalable Hardware-Aware Distributed Hyperparameter
    Jeff Kinnison, Nathaniel Kremer-Herman, Douglas Thain, Walter J. Scheirer,
    Proceedings of the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV),
    March 2018.