Construction of Hierarchical Neural Architecture Search Spaces based on Context-free Grammars

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Neural Architecture Search, Hierarchical Search Space, Context-free Grammars, Bayesian Optimization
TL;DR: We take a functional view of neural architecture search that allows us to construct highly expressive search spaces based on context-free grammars, and show that we can efficiently find well-performing architectures.
Abstract: The discovery of neural architectures from simple building blocks is a long-standing goal of Neural Architecture Search (NAS). Hierarchical search spaces are a promising step towards this goal but lack a unifying search space design framework and typically only search over some limited aspect of architectures. In this work, we introduce a unifying search space design framework based on context-free grammars that can naturally and compactly generate expressive hierarchical search spaces that are 100s of orders of magnitude larger than common spaces from the literature. By enhancing and using their properties, we effectively enable search over the complete architecture and can foster regularity. Further, we propose an efficient hierarchical kernel design for a Bayesian Optimization search strategy to efficiently search over such huge spaces. We demonstrate the versatility of our search space design framework and show that our search strategy can be superior to existing NAS approaches. Code is available at
Submission Number: 2567