AutoLoss-Zero: Searching Loss Functions From Scratch for Generic Tasks

Hao Li, Tianwen Fu, Jifeng Dai, Hongsheng Li, Gao Huang, Xizhou Zhu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 1009-1018


Significant progress has been achieved in automating the design of various components in deep networks. However, the automatic design of loss functions for generic tasks with various evaluation metrics remains under-investigated. Previous works on handcrafting loss functions heavily rely on human expertise, which limits their extensibility. Meanwhile, searching for loss functions is nontrivial due to the vast search space. Existing efforts mainly tackle the issue by employing task-specific heuristics on specific tasks and particular metrics. Such work cannot be extended to other tasks without arduous human effort. In this paper, we propose AutoLoss-Zero, which is a general framework for searching loss functions from scratch for generic tasks. Specifically, we design an elementary search space composed only of primitive mathematical operators to accommodate the heterogeneous tasks and evaluation metrics. A variant of the evolutionary algorithm is employed to discover loss functions in the elementary search space. A loss-rejection protocol and a gradient-equivalence-check strategy are developed so as to improve the search efficiency, which are applicable to generic tasks. Extensive experiments on various computer vision tasks demonstrate that our searched loss functions are on par with or superior to existing loss functions, which generalize well to different datasets and networks. Code shall be released.

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@InProceedings{Li_2022_CVPR, author = {Li, Hao and Fu, Tianwen and Dai, Jifeng and Li, Hongsheng and Huang, Gao and Zhu, Xizhou}, title = {AutoLoss-Zero: Searching Loss Functions From Scratch for Generic Tasks}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {1009-1018} }