Neumann Optimizer: A Practical Optimization Algorithm for Deep Neural Networks


Nov 03, 2017 (modified: Nov 03, 2017) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Progress in deep learning is slowed by the days or weeks it takes to train large models. The natural solution of using more hardware is limited by diminishing returns, and leads to inefficient use of additional resources. In this paper, we present a large batch, stochastic optimization algorithm that is both faster than widely used algorithms for fixed amounts of computation, and also scales up substantially better as more computational resources become available. Our algorithm implicitly computes the inverse Hessian of each mini-batch to produce descent directions; we do so without either an explicit approximation to the Hessian or Hessian-vector products. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm by successfully training large ImageNet models (InceptionV3, ResnetV1-50, ResnetV1-101 and InceptionResnetV2) with mini-batch sizes of up to 32000 with no loss in validation error relative to current baselines, and no increase in the total number of steps. At smaller mini-batch sizes, our optimizer improves the validation error in these models by 0.8-0.9\%. Alternatively, we can trade off this accuracy to reduce the number of training steps needed by roughly 10-30\%. Our work is practical and easily usable by others -- only one hyperparameter (learning rate) needs tuning, and furthermore, the algorithm is as computationally cheap as the commonly used Adam optimizer.
  • TL;DR: We describe a practical optimization algorithm for deep neural networks that works faster and generates better models compared to widely used algorithms.
  • Keywords: Deep Learning, Optimization