BS-NAS: Broadening-and-Shrinking One-Shot NAS with Searchable Numbers of Channels

One-Shot methods have evolved into one of the most popular methods in Neural Architecture Search (NAS) due to weight sharing and single training of a supernet. However, existing methods generally suffer from two issues: predetermined number of channels in each layer which is suboptimal; and model averaging effects and poor ranking correlation caused by weight coupling and continuously expanding search space. To explicitly address these issues, in this paper, a Broadening-and-Shrinking One-Shot NAS (BS-NAS) framework is proposed, in which `broadening' refers to broadening the search space with a spring block enabling search for numbers of channels during training of the supernet; while `shrinking' refers to a novel shrinking strategy gradually turning off those underperforming operations. The above innovations broaden the search space for wider representation and then shrink it by gradually removing underperforming operations, followed by an evolutionary algorithm to efficiently search for the optimal architecture. Extensive experiments on ImageNet illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed BS-NAS as well as the state-of-the-art performance.

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