Large-Scale Evolution of Image Classifiers
Neural networks have proven effective at solving difficult problems but designing their architectures can be challenging, even for image classification problems alone. Evolutionary algorithms provide a technique to discover such networks automatically. Despite significant computational requirements, we show that evolving models that rival large, hand-designed architectures is possible today. We employ simple evolutionary techniques at unprecedented scales to discover models for the CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 datasets, starting from trivial initial conditions. To do this, we use novel and intuitive mutation operators that navigate large search spaces. We stress that no human participation is required once evolution starts and that the output is a fully-trained model. Throughout this work, we place special emphasis on the repeatability of results, the variability in the outcomes and the computational requirements.