Keywords: deep learning, large-batch training
Abstract: We consider synchronous data-parallel neural network training with fixed large batch sizes. While the large batch size provides a high degree of parallelism, it likely degrades the generalization performance due to the low gradient noise scale. We propose a two-phase adaptive learning rate adjustment framework that tackles the poor generalization issue in large-batch training. Our empirical study shows that the number of training epochs before decaying the learning rate strongly affects the final accuracy. The framework performs extra epochs using the large learning rate even after the loss is flattened. After sufficient training under the noisy condition, the framework decays the learning rate based on the observed loss landscape at run-time. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed heuristics and algorithm enable to use an extremely large batch size while maintaining the model accuracy. For CIFAR-10 classification with ResNet20, our method achieves $92.66\%$ accuracy using $8,192$ batch size, which is close to $92.83\%$ achieved using $128$ batch size, at a negligible extra computational cost.
One-sentence Summary: Adaptive learning rate adjustment framework for accurate large-batch neural network training.
Supplementary Material: zip