Modern data science relies on data analytic pipelines to organize interdependent computational steps. Such analytic pipelines often involve different algorithms across multiple steps, each with its own hyperparameters. To achieve the best performance, it is often critical to select optimal algorithms and to set appropriate hyperparameters, which requires large computational efforts. Bayesian optimization provides a principled way for searching optimal hyperparameters for a single algorithm. However, many challenges remain in solving pipeline optimization problems with high-dimensional and highly conditional search space. In this work, we propose Fast LineAr SearcH (FLASH), an efficient method for tuning analytic pipelines. FLASH is a two-layer Bayesian optimization framework, which firstly uses a parametric model to select promising algorithms, then computes a nonparametric model to fine-tune hyperparameters of the promising algorithms. FLASH also includes an effective caching algorithm which can further accelerate the search process. Extensive experiments on a number of benchmark datasets have demonstrated that FLASH significantly outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods in both search speed and accuracy. Using 50% of the time budget, FLASH achieves up to 20% improvement on test error rate compared to the baselines. FLASH also yields state-of-the-art performance on a real-world application for healthcare predictive modeling.

Filed under: Big Data