- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
ShiftNAS: Improving One-shot NAS via Probability Shift
One-shot Neural architecture search (One-shot NAS) has been proposed as a time-efficient approach to obtain optimal subnet architectures and weights under different complexity cases by training only once. However, the subnet performance obtained by weight sharing is often inferior to the performance achieved by retraining. In this paper, we investigate the performance gap and attribute it to the use of uniform sampling, which is a common approach in supernet training. Uniform sampling concentrates training resources on subnets with intermediate computational resources, which are sampled with high probability. However, subnets with different complexity regions require different optimal training strategies for optimal performance. To address the problem of uniform sampling, we propose ShiftNAS, a method that can adjust the sampling probability based on the complexity of subnets. We achieve this by evaluating the performance variation of subnets with different complexity and designing an architecture generator that can accurately and efficiently provide subnets with the desired complexity. Both the sampling probability and the architecture generator can be trained end-to-end in a gradient-based manner. With ShiftNAS, we can directly obtain the optimal model architecture and parameters for a given computational complexity. We evaluate our approach on multiple visual network models, including convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and vision transformers (ViTs), and demonstrate that ShiftNAS is model-agnostic. Experimental results on ImageNet show that ShiftNAS can improve the performance of one-shot NAS without additional computational consumption. Source codes are available at GitHub.