Phil 6.8.2022

Towards Learning Universal Hyperparameter Optimizers with Transformers

  • 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.


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