Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free extension: code links for papers anywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

Tamas Sarlos, Xingyou Song, David Woodruff, Qiuyi, Zhang

Inspired by fast algorithms in natural language processing, we study low rank approximation in the entrywise transformed setting where we want to find a good rank $k$ approximation to $f(U \cdot V)$, where $U, V^\top \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times r}$ are given, $r = O(\log(n))$, and $f(x)$ is a general scalar function. Previous work in sublinear low rank approximation has shown that if both (1) $U = V^\top$ and (2) $f(x)$ is a PSD kernel function, then there is an $O(nk^{\omega-1})$ time constant relative error approximation algorithm, where $\omega \approx 2.376$ is the exponent of matrix multiplication. We give the first conditional time hardness results for this problem, demonstrating that both conditions (1) and (2) are in fact necessary for getting better than $n^{2-o(1)}$ time for a relative error low rank approximation for a wide class of functions. We give novel reductions from the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis (SETH) that rely on lower bounding the leverage scores of flat sparse vectors and hold even when the rank of the transformed matrix $f(UV)$ and the target rank are $n^{o(1)}$, and when $U = V^\top$. Furthermore, even when $f(x) = x^p$ is a simple polynomial, we give runtime lower bounds in the case when $U \neq V^\top$ of the form $\Omega(\min(n^{2-o(1)}, \Omega(2^p)))$. Lastly, we demonstrate that our lower bounds are tight by giving an $O(n \cdot \text{poly}(k, 2^p, 1/\epsilon))$ time relative error approximation algorithm and a fast $O(n \cdot \text{poly}(k, p, 1/\epsilon))$ additive error approximation using fast tensor-based sketching. Additionally, since our low rank algorithms rely on matrix-vector product subroutines, our lower bounds extend to show that computing $f(UV)W$, for even a small matrix $W$, requires $\Omega(n^{2-o(1)})$ time.

Via

Stephen Kelly, Daniel S. Park, Xingyou Song, Mitchell McIntire, Pranav Nashikkar, Ritam Guha, Wolfgang Banzhaf, Kalyanmoy Deb, Vishnu Naresh Boddeti, Jie Tan, Esteban Real

Autonomous robots deployed in the real world will need control policies that rapidly adapt to environmental changes. To this end, we propose AutoRobotics-Zero (ARZ), a method based on AutoML-Zero that discovers zero-shot adaptable policies from scratch. In contrast to neural network adaption policies, where only model parameters are optimized, ARZ can build control algorithms with the full expressive power of a linear register machine. We evolve modular policies that tune their model parameters and alter their inference algorithm on-the-fly to adapt to sudden environmental changes. We demonstrate our method on a realistic simulated quadruped robot, for which we evolve safe control policies that avoid falling when individual limbs suddenly break. This is a challenging task in which two popular neural network baselines fail. Finally, we conduct a detailed analysis of our method on a novel and challenging non-stationary control task dubbed Cataclysmic Cartpole. Results confirm our findings that ARZ is significantly more robust to sudden environmental changes and can build simple, interpretable control policies.

Via

Xingyou Song, Sagi Perel, Chansoo Lee, Greg Kochanski, Daniel Golovin

Vizier is the de-facto blackbox and hyperparameter optimization service across Google, having optimized some of Google's largest products and research efforts. To operate at the scale of tuning thousands of users' critical systems, Google Vizier solved key design challenges in providing multiple different features, while remaining fully fault-tolerant. In this paper, we introduce Open Source (OSS) Vizier, a standalone Python-based interface for blackbox optimization and research, based on the Google-internal Vizier infrastructure and framework. OSS Vizier provides an API capable of defining and solving a wide variety of optimization problems, including multi-metric, early stopping, transfer learning, and conditional search. Furthermore, it is designed to be a distributed system that assures reliability, and allows multiple parallel evaluations of the user's objective function. The flexible RPC-based infrastructure allows users to access OSS Vizier from binaries written in any language. OSS Vizier also provides a back-end ("Pythia") API that gives algorithm authors a way to interface new algorithms with the core OSS Vizier system. OSS Vizier is available at https://github.com/google/vizier.

Via

Yutian Chen, Xingyou Song, Chansoo Lee, Zi Wang, Qiuyi Zhang, David Dohan, Kazuya Kawakami, Greg Kochanski, Arnaud Doucet, Marc'aurelio Ranzato, Sagi Perel, Nando de Freitas

Meta-learning hyperparameter optimization (HPO) algorithms from prior experiments is a promising approach to improve optimization efficiency over objective functions from a similar distribution. However, existing methods are restricted to learning from experiments sharing the same set of hyperparameters. In this paper, we introduce the OptFormer, the first text-based Transformer HPO framework that provides a universal end-to-end interface for jointly learning policy and function prediction when trained on vast tuning data from the wild. Our extensive experiments demonstrate that the OptFormer can imitate at least 7 different HPO algorithms, which can be further improved via its function uncertainty estimates. Compared to a Gaussian Process, the OptFormer also learns a robust prior distribution for hyperparameter response functions, and can thereby provide more accurate and better calibrated predictions. This work paves the path to future extensions for training a Transformer-based model as a general HPO optimizer.

Via

Jack Parker-Holder, Raghu Rajan, Xingyou Song, André Biedenkapp, Yingjie Miao, Theresa Eimer, Baohe Zhang, Vu Nguyen, Roberto Calandra, Aleksandra Faust, Frank Hutter, Marius Lindauer

The combination of Reinforcement Learning (RL) with deep learning has led to a series of impressive feats, with many believing (deep) RL provides a path towards generally capable agents. However, the success of RL agents is often highly sensitive to design choices in the training process, which may require tedious and error-prone manual tuning. This makes it challenging to use RL for new problems, while also limits its full potential. In many other areas of machine learning, AutoML has shown it is possible to automate such design choices and has also yielded promising initial results when applied to RL. However, Automated Reinforcement Learning (AutoRL) involves not only standard applications of AutoML but also includes additional challenges unique to RL, that naturally produce a different set of methods. As such, AutoRL has been emerging as an important area of research in RL, providing promise in a variety of applications from RNA design to playing games such as Go. Given the diversity of methods and environments considered in RL, much of the research has been conducted in distinct subfields, ranging from meta-learning to evolution. In this survey we seek to unify the field of AutoRL, we provide a common taxonomy, discuss each area in detail and pose open problems which would be of interest to researchers going forward.

Via

Valerii Likhosherstov, Xingyou Song, Krzysztof Choromanski, Jared Davis, Adrian Weller

Approximate bi-level optimization (ABLO) consists of (outer-level) optimization problems, involving numerical (inner-level) optimization loops. While ABLO has many applications across deep learning, it suffers from time and memory complexity proportional to the length $r$ of its inner optimization loop. To address this complexity, an earlier first-order method (FOM) was proposed as a heuristic that omits second derivative terms, yielding significant speed gains and requiring only constant memory. Despite FOM's popularity, there is a lack of theoretical understanding of its convergence properties. We contribute by theoretically characterizing FOM's gradient bias under mild assumptions. We further demonstrate a rich family of examples where FOM-based SGD does not converge to a stationary point of the ABLO objective. We address this concern by proposing an unbiased FOM (UFOM) enjoying constant memory complexity as a function of $r$. We characterize the introduced time-variance tradeoff, demonstrate convergence bounds, and find an optimal UFOM for a given ABLO problem. Finally, we propose an efficient adaptive UFOM scheme.

Via

Yingjie Miao, Xingyou Song, Daiyi Peng, Summer Yue, Eugene Brevdo, Aleksandra Faust

We introduce RL-DARTS, one of the first applications of Differentiable Architecture Search (DARTS) in reinforcement learning (RL) to search for convolutional cells, applied to the Procgen benchmark. We outline the initial difficulties of applying neural architecture search techniques in RL, and demonstrate that by simply replacing the image encoder with a DARTS supernet, our search method is sample-efficient, requires minimal extra compute resources, and is also compatible with off-policy and on-policy RL algorithms, needing only minor changes in preexisting code. Surprisingly, we find that the supernet can be used as an actor for inference to generate replay data in standard RL training loops, and thus train end-to-end. Throughout this training process, we show that the supernet gradually learns better cells, leading to alternative architectures which can be highly competitive against manually designed policies, but also verify previous design choices for RL policies.

Via

Krzysztof Choromanski, Deepali Jain, Jack Parker-Holder, Xingyou Song, Valerii Likhosherstov, Anirban Santara, Aldo Pacchiano, Yunhao Tang, Adrian Weller

There has recently been significant interest in training reinforcement learning (RL) agents in vision-based environments. This poses many challenges, such as high dimensionality and potential for observational overfitting through spurious correlations. A promising approach to solve both of these problems is a self-attention bottleneck, which provides a simple and effective framework for learning high performing policies, even in the presence of distractions. However, due to poor scalability of attention architectures, these methods do not scale beyond low resolution visual inputs, using large patches (thus small attention matrices). In this paper we make use of new efficient attention algorithms, recently shown to be highly effective for Transformers, and demonstrate that these new techniques can be applied in the RL setting. This allows our attention-based controllers to scale to larger visual inputs, and facilitate the use of smaller patches, even individual pixels, improving generalization. In addition, we propose a new efficient algorithm approximating softmax attention with what we call hybrid random features, leveraging the theory of angular kernels. We show theoretically and empirically that hybrid random features is a promising approach when using attention for vision-based RL.

Via