Evolutionary NAS with Gene Expression Programming of Cellular Encoding

27 May 2020  ·  Clifford Broni-Bediako, Yuki Murata, Luiz Henrique Mormille, Masayasu Atsumi ·

The renaissance of neural architecture search (NAS) has seen classical methods such as genetic algorithms (GA) and genetic programming (GP) being exploited for convolutional neural network (CNN) architectures. While recent work have achieved promising performance on visual perception tasks, the direct encoding scheme of both GA and GP has functional complexity deficiency and does not scale well on large architectures like CNN. To address this, we present a new generative encoding scheme -- $symbolic\ linear\ generative\ encoding$ (SLGE) -- simple, yet powerful scheme which embeds local graph transformations in chromosomes of linear fixed-length string to develop CNN architectures of variant shapes and sizes via evolutionary process of gene expression programming. In experiments, the effectiveness of SLGE is shown in discovering architectures that improve the performance of the state-of-the-art handcrafted CNN architectures on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 image classification tasks; and achieves a competitive classification error rate with the existing NAS methods using less GPU resources.

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