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Tensor Proxies for Efficient Feature Cross Search
Taisuke Yasuda · Mohammad Hossein Bateni · Lin Chen · Matthew Fahrbach · Thomas Fu
Event URL: https://openreview.net/forum?id=KERBJTOMcc »

Feature crossing is a popular method for augmenting the feature set of a machine learning model by taking the Cartesian product of a small number of existing categorical features. While feature crosses have traditionally been hand-picked by domain experts, a recent line of work has focused on the automatic discovery of informative feature crosses. Our work proposes a simple yet efficient and effective approach to this problem using tensor proxies as well as a novel application of the attention mechanism to convert the combinatorial problem of feature cross search to a continuous optimization problem. By solving the continuous optimization problem and then rounding the solution to a feature cross, we give a highly efficient algorithm for feature cross search that trains only a single model for feature cross searching, unlike prior greedy methods that require training a large number of models. Through extensive empirical evaluations, we show that our algorithm is not only efficient, but also discovers more informative feature crosses that allow us to achieve state-of-the-art empirical results for feature cross models. Furthermore, even without the rounding step, we obtain a novel DNN architecture for augmenting existing models with a small number of features to improve quality without introducing any feature crosses. This avoids the cost of storing additional large embedding tables for these feature crosses.

Author Information

Taisuke Yasuda (School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University)
Mohammad Hossein Bateni (Google Research)
Lin Chen (Yale University)
Matthew Fahrbach (Google Research)
Thomas Fu (Google Research)

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