Abstract: In this paper, we investigate a new variant of neural architecture search
(NAS) paradigm -- searching with random labels (RLNAS). The task sounds
counter-intuitive for most existing NAS algorithms since random label provides
few information on the performance of each candidate architecture. Instead, we
propose a novel NAS framework based on ease-of-convergence hypothesis, which
requires only random labels during searching. The algorithm involves two steps:
first, we train a SuperNet using random labels; second, from the SuperNet we
extract the sub-network whose weights change most significantly during the
training. Extensive experiments are evaluated on multiple datasets (e.g.
NAS-Bench-201 and ImageNet) and multiple search spaces (e.g. DARTS-like and
MobileNet-like). Very surprisingly, RLNAS achieves comparable or even better
results compared with state-of-the-art NAS methods such as PC-DARTS, Single
Path One-Shot, even though the counterparts utilize full ground truth labels
for searching. We hope our finding could inspire new understandings on the
essential of NAS.