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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2024
  2. 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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  3. Weight pruning is an effective model compression technique to tackle the challenges of achieving real-time deep neural network (DNN) inference on mobile devices. However, prior pruning schemes have limited application scenarios due to accuracy degradation, difficulty in leveraging hardware acceleration, and/or restriction on certain types of DNN layers. In this article, we propose a general, fine-grained structured pruning scheme and corresponding compiler optimizations that are applicable to any type of DNN layer while achieving high accuracy and hardware inference performance. With the flexibility of applying different pruning schemes to different layers enabled by our compiler optimizations, we further probe into the new problem of determining the best-suited pruning scheme considering the different acceleration and accuracy performance of various pruning schemes. Two pruning scheme mapping methods—one -search based and the other is rule based—are proposed to automatically derive the best-suited pruning regularity and block size for each layer of any given DNN. Experimental results demonstrate that our pruning scheme mapping methods, together with the general fine-grained structured pruning scheme, outperform the state-of-the-art DNN optimization framework with up to 2.48 \( \times \) and 1.73 \( \times \) DNN inference acceleration on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet datasets without accuracy loss. 
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