Efficient Neural Architecture Search coupled with Quantized CNNs to search for resource efficient and accurate architectures.
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binarize
data
enas
keras
quantize
ternarize
.gitignore
README.md
base_ops.py
search_arc_cifar.py
search_arc_mnist.py
setup.sh
train_arc_cifar.py
train_arc_mnist.py

README.md

Efficient Neural Architecture Search with Quantized Neural Networks

This project combines the architecture search strategy (only micro) from Efficient Neural Architecture Search with the search space of Quantized Neural Networks.

Introduction

Efficient Neural Architecture Search recently optimized a major computational bottleneck of NAS algorithms, it does so by sharing (reusing) parameters across child models and delivers strong empirical performance.

In ENAS, a controller discovers neural network architectures by searching for an optimal subgraph within a large computational graph. These child models are sub-graphs selected from a large computational graph which can be visualized as a directed acyclic graph.

The controller is trained with policy gradient to select a subgraph that maximizes the expected reward on a validation set. Meanwhile, the model corresponding to the selected subgraph is trained to minimize a canonical cross entropy loss. Sharing parameters among child models allows ENAS to deliver strong empirical performances,

During the forward pass, Quantized Neural Networks drastically reduce memory size and accesses, and replace most arithmetic operations with bit-wise operations. As a result, power consumption is expected to be drastically reduced.

In this project the child model is built using binary, ternary or quantized convolutional layers defined in micro_child.py.

Project Setup

Setup Script

To run this project you will have to create a new virtualenv with Python3 and install the needed dependencies there. I have written a small bash script setup.sh that you can run and it will create the virtual environment, install the needed dependencies, and would take care of replacing the base_layer.py file in your virtual environment's directory.

chmod +x setup.sh 
./setup.sh 

Once you execute this you're ready to go!

Why a new environment?

The weight sharing mechanism works by intializing the weights of the DAG only once and reusing them over various iterations, the methods used for this are create_weight and create_bias defined in common_ops.py.

In the author's code, they add these weights to the layers using tf.nn module in Tensorflow which allows the user to set custom weights to a new layer.

As we are searching in the space of quantized neural networks, and to implement the quantization we use custom keras layers and there is no provision to set resusable weights to these layers. In the custom layer, the weights are defined using self.add_weight method which is defined locally in ./environment/lib/python3.x/site-packages/keras/engine/base_layer.py file the keras installation folder.

Now, I tweaked this method slightly so that it allows to set custom weights to the layers. It is definitely not a good idea to do such changes this in your global installation of Keras, and I strongly suggest using a virtual environment for this.

Please read this blog to know how the custom Keras layers are written, I have a separate mini-project which contains code to build these quantized networks, and perhaps it will be a good idea to take a look there before reading the code in this repository.

Project Structure

The skeletal overview of the project is as follows:

├── binarize/
│   ├── binary_layers.py  # Custom binary layers are defined in Keras 
│   └── binary_ops.py     # Binarization functions for weights and activations
|
├── ternarize/
│   ├── ternary_layers.py  # Custom ternarized layers are defined in Keras
│   └── ternary_ops.py     # Ternarization functions for weights and activations
|
├── quantize/
│   ├── quantized_layers.py  # Custom quantized layers are defined in Keras
│   └── quantized_ops.py     # Quantization functions for weights and activations
|
├── enas/                               
│   ├── data_utils.py & data_utils_cifar.py  # Code to pre-process and import datasets
│   ├── micro_controller.py                  # Builds the controller graph 
│   ├── common_ops.py                        # Contain methods needed for reusing weights
│   ├── models.py & controller.py            # Base classes for MicroChild and MicroController
│   ├── utils.py                             # Methods to build training operations graph
│   └── micro_child.py                       # Builds the graph for child model from the architecture string
|
├── main_controller_child_trainer.py         # Defines experiment settings and runs architecture search        
└── main_child_trainer.py                    # Trains given architecture till convergence  

Experiment Details

Datasets

Extract the three zip files stored in data/mnist in the same folder for the MNIST experiment, for the cifar10 experiment read the directions in file cifar10_dataset.txt.

Architecture Search

To run the architecture search, you can edit the experiment configurations in search_arc_cifar.py and search_arc_mnist.py for CIFAR10 and MNIST respectively.

Use the following command to run the experiment finally.

python search_arc_cifar.py >> cifar_search.txt
python search_arc_mnist.py >> mnist_search.txt

All the ouput will be redirected to cifar_search.txt / mnist_search.txt file.

Analyzing Output

In the output file, after each training cycle for the controller we sample 10 architectures and output valdation accuracy of these architectures.

Image Source: Efficient Neural Architecture Search via Parameter Sharing

The output for the architectures will be logged as follows:

Epoch 181: Eval
Eval at 77830
valid_accuracy: 0.9612
Eval at 77830
Test Num examples:  10000
test_accuracy: 0.9622
epoch = 181   ch_step = 77850  loss = 0.127491   lr = 0.0456   |g| = 0.2030   tr_acc = 108/128   mins = 549.07    
..   
Epoch 182: Training controller
ctrl_step = 5430   loss = 0.266   ent = 49.17   lr = 0.0035   |g| = 0.0002   acc = 0.9688   bl = 0.97   mins = 550.96
..
Here are 10 architectures
[0 2 1 4 1 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 1]     # Denotes the architecture for normal cell 
[1 3 1 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 3]     # Denotes the architecture for reduction cell 
val_acc = 0.9688
---------------------------------------------------
..
[0 0 0 1 1 0 1 3 1 1 0 3 1 1 1 0 0 4 0 0]
[1 0 1 4 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 2]
val_acc = 0.9531
---------------------------------------------------

The architecture with highest validation accuracy needs to be trained till convergence. The two lists printed above denote the architecture of the cell.

Training Architecture

To train an architecture till convergence pass the pass the architecture string as a parameter to train_arc_mnist.py or train_arc_cifar.py file.

To the architecture string is just concatenation of the normal cell and reduction cell, see below:

Given Architecture: 

[0 2 1 4 1 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 1]     # Denotes the architecture for normal cell 
[1 3 1 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 3]     # Denotes the architecture for reduction cell 

The architecture string becomes: "0 2 1 4 1 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 3"

Now, to train the architecture in above example you can use the commands below:

python train_arc_mnist.py -fixed_arc "0 2 1 4 1 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 3" >> mnist_arc.txt
python train_arc_cifar.py -fixed_arc "0 2 1 4 1 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 4 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 3" >> cifar_arc.txt

All the ouput will be redirected to mnist_arc.txt / cifar_arc.txt file.

References

If you find this code useful, please consider citing the original work by the authors:

@article{pham2018efficient,
  title={Efficient Neural Architecture Search via Parameter Sharing},
  author={Pham, Hieu and Guan, Melody Y and Zoph, Barret and Le, Quoc V and Dean, Jeff},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1802.03268},
  year={2018}
}
@article{Hubara2017QuantizedNN,
  title={Quantized Neural Networks: Training Neural Networks with Low Precision Weights and Activations},
  author={Itay Hubara and Matthieu Courbariaux and Daniel Soudry and Ran El-Yaniv and Yoshua Bengio},
  journal={Journal of Machine Learning Research},
  year={2017},
  volume={18},
  pages={187:1-187:30}
}

Thanks to

This work wouldn't have been possible without the help from the following repos:

  1. https://github.com/melodyguan/enas (Author's code)
  2. https://github.com/DingKe/nn_playground/
  3. https://github.com/MINGUKKANG/ENAS-Tensorflow