DANA: Scalable Out-of-the-box Distributed ASGD Without Retuning


Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Distributed computing can significantly reduce the training time of neural networks. Despite its potential, however, distributed training has not been widely adopted: scaling the training process is difficult, and existing SGD methods require substantial tuning of hyperparameters and learning schedules to achieve sufficient accuracy when increasing the number of workers. In practice, such tuning can be prohibitively expensive given the huge number of potential hyperparameter configurations and the effort required to test each one. We propose DANA, a novel approach that scales out-of-the-box to large clusters using the same hyperparameters and learning schedule optimized for training on a single worker, while maintaining similar final accuracy without additional overhead. DANA estimates the future value of model parameters by adapting Nesterov Accelerated Gradient to a distributed setting, and so mitigates the effect of gradient staleness, one of the main difficulties in scaling SGD to more workers. Evaluation on three state-of-the-art network architectures and three datasets shows that DANA scales as well as or better than existing work without having to tune any hyperparameters or tweak the learning schedule. For example, DANA achieves 75.73% accuracy on ImageNet when training ResNet-50 with 16 workers, similar to the non-distributed baseline.
  • Keywords: distributed, asynchronous, gradient staleness, nesterov, optimization, out-of-the-box, stochastic gradient descent, sgd, imagenet, distributed training, neural networks, deep learning
  • TL;DR: A new distributed asynchronous SGD algorithm that achieves state-of-the-art accuracy on existing architectures without any additional tuning or overhead.
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