- Keywords: neural networks, adversarial training, prune
- TL;DR: We show the possibility of pruning to find a small sub-network with significantly higher convergence rate than the full model.
- Abstract: Recent research has proposed the lottery ticket hypothesis, suggesting that for a deep neural network, there exist trainable sub-networks performing equally or better than the original model with commensurate training steps. While this discovery is insightful, finding proper sub-networks requires iterative training and pruning. The high cost incurred limits the applications of the lottery ticket hypothesis. We show there exists a subset of the aforementioned sub-networks that converge significantly faster during the training process and thus can mitigate the cost issue. We conduct extensive experiments to show such sub-networks consistently exist across various model structures for a restrictive setting of hyperparameters (e.g., carefully selected learning rate, pruning ratio, and model capacity). As a practical application of our findings, we demonstrate that such sub-networks can help in cutting down the total time of adversarial training, a standard approach to improve robustness, by up to 49% on CIFAR-10 to achieve the state-of-the-art robustness.