Learned Prioritization for Trading Off Accuracy and Speed

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Jiarong Jiang, Adam Teichert, Jason Eisner, Hal Daume


Users want natural language processing (NLP) systems to be both fast and accurate, but quality often comes at the cost of speed. The field has been manually exploring various speed-accuracy tradeoffs (for particular problems and datasets). We aim to explore this space automatically, focusing here on the case of agenda-based syntactic parsing \cite{kay-1986}. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf reinforcement learning techniques fail to learn good policies: the state space is simply too large to explore naively. An attempt to counteract this by applying imitation learning algorithms also fails: the ``teacher'' is far too good to successfully imitate with our inexpensive features. Moreover, it is not specifically tuned for the known reward function. We propose a hybrid reinforcement/apprenticeship learning algorithm that, even with only a few inexpensive features, can automatically learn weights that achieve competitive accuracies at significant improvements in speed over state-of-the-art baselines.