Accepted Papers

A Generalized Framework for Population Based Training

Ang Li, Ola Spyra, Sagi Perel, Valentin Dalibard, Max Jaderberg, Chenjie Gu, David Budden, Tim Harley and Pramod Gupta

Population Based Training (PBT) is a recent approach that jointly optimizes neural network weights and hyperparameters which periodically copies weights of the best performers and mutates hyperparameters during training. Previous PBT implementations have been synchronized glass-box systems. We propose a general, black-box PBT framework that distributes many asynchronous “trials” (a small number of training steps with warm-starting) across a cluster, coordinated by the PBT controller. The black-box design does not make assumptions on model architectures, loss functions or training procedures. Our system supports dynamic hyperparameter schedules to optimize both differentiable and non-differentiable metrics. We apply our system to train a state-of-the-art WaveNet generative model for human voice synthesis. We show that our PBT system achieves better accuracy and faster convergence compared to existing methods, given the same computational resource.


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