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AutoAttend: Automated Attention Representation Search

Chaoyu Guan · Xin Wang · Wenwu Zhu

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Self-attention mechanisms have been widely adopted in many machine learning areas, including Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Graph Representation Learning (GRL), etc. However, existing works heavily rely on hand-crafted design to obtain customized attention mechanisms. In this paper, we automate Key, Query and Value representation design, which is one of the most important steps to obtain effective self-attentions. We propose an automated self-attention representation model, AutoAttend, which can automatically search powerful attention representations for downstream tasks leveraging Neural Architecture Search (NAS). In particular, we design a tailored search space for attention representation automation, which is flexible to produce effective attention representation designs. Based on the design prior obtained from attention representations in previous works, we further regularize our search space to reduce the space complexity without the loss of expressivity. Moreover, we propose a novel context-aware parameter sharing mechanism considering special characteristics of each sub-architecture to provide more accurate architecture estimations when conducting parameter sharing in our tailored search space. Experiments show the superiority of our proposed AutoAttend model over previous state-of-the-arts on eight text classification tasks in NLP and four node classification tasks in GRL.

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