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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 23, 2024
  2. Existing work in continual learning (CL) focuses on mitigating catastrophic forgetting, i.e., model performance deterioration on past tasks when learning a new task. However, the training efficiency of a CL system is under-investigated, which limits the real-world application of CL systems under resource-limited scenarios. In this work, we propose a novel framework called Sparse Continual Learning(SparCL), which is the first study that leverages sparsity to enable cost-effective continual learning on edge devices. SparCL achieves both training acceleration and accuracy preservation through the synergy of three aspects: weight sparsity, data efficiency, and gradient sparsity. Specifically, we propose task-aware dynamic masking (TDM) to learn a sparse network throughout the entire CL process, dynamic data removal (DDR) to remove less informative training data, and dynamic gradient masking (DGM) to sparsify the gradient updates. Each of them not only improves efficiency, but also further mitigates catastrophic forgetting. SparCL consistently improves the training efficiency of existing state-of-the-art (SOTA) CL methods by at most 23X less training FLOPs, and, surprisingly, further improves the SOTA accuracy by at most 1.7%. SparCL also outperforms competitive baselines obtained from adapting SOTA sparse training methods to the CL setting in both efficiency and accuracy. We also evaluate the effectiveness of SparCL on a real mobile phone, further indicating the practical potential of our method. 
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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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  4. Though recent years have witnessed remarkable progress in single image super-resolution (SISR) tasks with the prosperous development of deep neural networks (DNNs), the deep learning methods are confronted with the computation and memory consumption issues in practice, especially for resource-limited platforms such as mobile devices. To overcome the challenge and facilitate the real-time deployment of SISR tasks on mobile, we combine neural architecture search with pruning search and propose an automatic search framework that derives sparse super-resolution (SR) models with high image quality while satisfying the real-time inference requirement. To decrease the search cost, we leverage the weight sharing strategy by introducing a supernet and decouple the search problem into three stages, including supernet construction, compiler-aware architecture and pruning search, and compiler-aware pruning ratio search. With the proposed framework, we are the first to achieve real-time SR inference (with only tens of milliseconds per frame) for implementing 720p resolution with competitive image quality (in terms of PSNR and SSIM) on mobile platforms (Samsung Galaxy S20). 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Deep learning methods have been very successful at radio frequency fingerprinting tasks, predicting the identity of transmitting devices with high accuracy. We study radio frequency fingerprinting deployments at resource-constrained edge devices. We use structured pruning to jointly train and sparsify neural networks tailored to edge hardware implementations. We compress convolutional layers by a 27.2× factor while incurring a negligible prediction accuracy decrease (less than 1%). We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach over multiple edge hardware platforms, including a Samsung Galaxy S10 phone and a Xilinx-ZCU104 FPGA. Our method yields significant inference speedups, 11.5× on the FPGA and 3× on the smartphone, as well as high efficiency: the FPGA processing time is 17× smaller than in a V100 GPU. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to explore the possibility of compressing networks for radio frequency fingerprinting; as such, our experiments can be seen as a means of characterizing the informational capacity associated with this specific learning task. 
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  6. null (Ed.)