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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2024
  2. Vision transformers (ViTs) have recently obtained success in many applications, but their intensive computation and heavy memory usage at both training and inference time limit their generalization. Previous compression algorithms usually start from the pre-trained dense models and only focus on efficient inference, while time-consuming training is still unavoidable. In contrast, this paper points out that the million-scale training data is redundant, which is the fundamental reason for the tedious training. To address the issue, this paper aims to introduce sparsity into data and proposes an end-to-end efficient training framework from three sparse perspectives, dubbed Tri-Level E-ViT. Specifically, we leverage a hierarchical data redundancy reduction scheme, by exploring the sparsity under three levels: number of training examples in the dataset, number of patches (tokens) in each example, and number of connections between tokens that lie in attention weights. With extensive experiments, we demonstrate that our proposed technique can noticeably accelerate training for various ViT architectures while maintaining accuracy. Remarkably, under certain ratios, we are able to improve the ViT accuracy rather than compromising it. For example, we can achieve 15.2% speedup with 72.6% (+0.4) Top-1 accuracy on Deit-T, and 15.7% speedup with 79.9% (+0.1) Top-1 accuracy on Deit-S. This proves the existence of data redundancy in ViT. Our code
is released at https://github.com/ZLKong/Tri-Level-ViT

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
  3. It is appealing but challenging to achieve real-time deep neural network (DNN) inference on mobile devices because even the powerful modern mobile devices are considered “resource-constrained” when executing large-scale DNNs. It necessitates the sparse model inference via weight pruning, i.e., DNN weight sparsity, and it is desirable to design a new DNN weight sparsity scheme that can facilitate real-time inference on mobile devices while preserving a high sparse model accuracy. This paper designs a novel mobile inference acceleration framework GRIM that is General to both convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and that achieves Real-time execution and high accuracy, leveraging fine-grained structured sparse model Inference and compiler optimizations for Mobiles. We start by proposing a new fine-grained structured sparsity scheme through the Block-based Column-Row (BCR) pruning. Based on this new fine-grained structured sparsity, our GRIM framework consists of two parts: (a) the compiler optimization and code generation for real-time mobile inference; and (b) the BCR pruning optimizations for determining pruning hyperparameters and performing weight pruning. We compare GRIM with Alibaba MNN, TVM, TensorFlow-Lite, a sparse implementation based on CSR, PatDNN, and ESE (a representative FPGA inference acceleration framework for RNNs), and achieve up to 14.08× speedup. 
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  4. Efficient deployment of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) on edge devices (i.e., FPGAs and mobile platforms) is very challenging, especially under a recent witness of the increasing DNN model size and complexity. Model compression strategies, including weight quantization and pruning, are widely recognized as effective approaches to significantly reduce computation and memory intensities, and have been implemented in many DNNs on edge devices. However, most state-of-the-art works focus on ad-hoc optimizations, and there lacks a thorough study to comprehensively reveal the potentials and constraints of different edge devices when considering different compression strategies. In this paper, we qualitatively and quantitatively compare the energy efficiency of FPGA-based and mobile-based DNN executions using mobile GPU and provide a detailed analysis. Based on the observations obtained from the analysis, we propose a unified optimization framework using block-based pruning to reduce the weight storage and accelerate the inference speed on mobile devices and FPGAs, achieving high hardware performance and energy-efficiency gain while maintaining accuracy. 
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  5. Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) based automatic speech recognition has nowadays become promising and important on mobile devices such as smart phones. However, previous RNN compression techniques either suffer from hardware performance overhead due to irregularity or significant accuracy loss due to the preserved regularity for hardware friendliness. In this work, we propose RTMobile that leverages both a novel block-based pruning approach and compiler optimizations to accelerate RNN inference on mobile devices. Our proposed RTMobile is the first work that can achieve real-time RNN inference on mobile platforms. Experimental results demonstrate that RTMobile can significantly outperform existing RNN hardware acceleration methods in terms of both inference accuracy and time. Compared with prior work on FPGA, RTMobile using Adreno 640 embedded GPU on GRU can improve the energy efficiency by 40x while maintaining the same inference time. 
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