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  1. Convolutional neural networks (CNN) have been hugely successful recently with superior accuracy and performance in various imaging applications, such as classification, object detection, and segmentation. However, a highly accurate CNN model requires millions of parameters to be trained and utilized. Even to increase its performance slightly would require significantly more parameters due to adding more layers and/or increasing the number of filters per layer. Apparently, many of these weight parameters turn out to be redundant and extraneous, so the original, dense model can be replaced by its compressed version attained by imposing inter- and intra-group sparsity onto the layer weights during training. In this paper, we propose a nonconvex family of sparse group lasso that blends nonconvex regularization (e.g., transformed L1, L1 - L2, and L0) that induces sparsity onto the individual weights and L2,1 regularization onto the output channels of a layer. We apply variable splitting onto the proposed regularization to develop an algorithm that consists of two steps per iteration: gradient descent and thresholding. Numerical experiments are demonstrated on various CNN architectures showcasing the effectiveness of the nonconvex family of sparse group lasso in network sparsification and test accuracy on par with the current state of the art.
  2. In the last decade, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have evolved to become the dominant models for various computer vision tasks, but they cannot be deployed in low-memory devices due to its high memory requirement and computational cost. One popular, straightforward approach to compressing CNNs is network slimming, which imposes an L1 penalty on the channel-associated scaling factors in the batch normalization layers during training. In this way, channels with low scaling factors are identified to be insignificant and are pruned in the models. In this paper, we propose replacing the L1 penalty with the Lp and transformed L1 (TL1) penalties since these nonconvex penalties outperformed L1 in yielding sparser satisfactory solutions in various compressed sensing problems. In our numerical experiments, we demonstrate network slimming with Lp and TL1 penalties on VGGNet and Densenet trained on CIFAR 10/100. The results demonstrate that the nonconvex penalties compress CNNs better than L1. In addition, TL1 preserves the model accuracy after channel pruning, L1/2 and L3/4 yield compressed models with similar accuracies as L1 after retraining.