CGO: G: Intelligent Heuristic Construction with Active Learning

William F. Ogilvie, Pavlos Petoumenous, Zheng Wang, Hugh Leather
University of Edinburgh
ACM Student Research Competition (SRC), 2015


   title={CGO: G: Intelligent Heuristic Construction with Active Learning},

   author={Ogilvie, William F and Petoumenous, Pavlos and Wang, Zheng and Leather, Hugh},



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Building effective optimization heuristics is a challenging task which often takes developers several months if not years to complete. Predictive modelling has recently emerged as a promising solution, automatically constructing heuristics from training data, however, obtaining this data can take months per platform. This is becoming an ever more critical problem as the pace of change in architecture increases. Indeed, if no solution is found we shall be left with out of date heuristics which cannot extract the best performance from modern machines. In this work, we present a low-cost predictive modelling approach for automatic heuristic construction which significantly reduces this training overhead. Typically in supervised learning the training instances are randomly selected, regardless of how much useful information is present. Our approach, on the other hand, uses active learning to carefully select the more informative examples, thus reducing the training time. We demonstrate this technique by automatically creating a model to determine on which device to execute four parallel programs at differing problem dimensions for a representative CPU-GPU based system. Our methodology is remarkably simple and yet effective, making it a strong candidate for wide adoption. At high levels of classification accuracy the average learning speed-up is 3x, as compared to the state-of-the-art.
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