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  1. The ever-growing parameter size and computation cost of Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models hinder their deployment onto resource-constrained platforms. Network pruning techniques are proposed to remove the redundancy in CNN parameters and produce a sparse model. Sparse-aware accelerators are also proposed to reduce the computation cost and memory bandwidth requirements of inference by leveraging the model sparsity. The irregularity of sparse patterns, however, limits the efficiency of those designs. Researchers proposed to address this issue by creating a regular sparsity pattern through hardware-aware pruning algorithms. However, the pruning rate of these solutions is largely limited by the enforced sparsity patterns.more »This limitation motivates us to explore other compression methods beyond pruning. With two decoupled computation stages, we found that kernel decomposition could potentially take the processing of the sparse pattern off from the critical path of inference and achieve a high compression ratio without enforcing the sparse patterns. To exploit these advantages, we propose ESCALATE, an algorithm-hardware co-design approach based on kernel decomposition. At algorithm level, ESCALATE reorganizes the two computation stages of the decomposed convolution to enable a stream processing of the intermediate feature map. We proposed a hybrid quantization to exploit the different reuse frequency of each part of the decomposed weight. At architecture level, ESCALATE proposes a novel ‘Basis-First’ dataflow and its corresponding microarchitecture design to maximize the benefits brought by the decomposed convolution.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 17, 2022
  2. null (Ed.)
    The invention of Transformer model structure boosts the performance of Neural Machine Translation (NMT) tasks to an unprecedented level. Many previous works have been done to make the Transformer model more execution-friendly on resource-constrained platforms. These researches can be categorized into three key fields: Model Pruning, Transfer Learning, and Efficient Transformer Variants. The family of model pruning methods are popular for their simplicity in practice and promising compression rate and have achieved great success in the field of convolution neural networks (CNNs) for many vision tasks. Nonetheless, previous Transformer pruning works did not perform a thorough model analysis and evaluationmore »on each Transformer component on off-the-shelf mobile devices. In this work, we analyze and prune transformer models at the line-wise granularity and also implement our pruning method on real mobile platforms. We explore the properties of all Transformer components as well as their sparsity features, which are leveraged to guide Transformer model pruning. We name our whole Transformer analysis and pruning pipeline as TPrune. In TPrune, we first propose Block-wise Structured Sparsity Learning (BSSL) to analyze Transformer model property. Then, based on the characters derived from BSSL, we apply Structured Hoyer Square (SHS) to derive the final pruned models. Comparing with the state-of-the-art Transformer pruning methods, TPrune is able to achieve a higher model compression rate with less performance degradation. Experimental results show that our pruned models achieve 1.16×–1.92× speedup on mobile devices with 0%–8% BLEU score degradation compared with the original Transformer model.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2022
  3. Although state-of-the-art (SOTA) CNNs achieve outstanding performance on various tasks, their high computation demand and massive number of parameters make it difficult to deploy these SOTA CNNs onto resource-constrained devices. Previous works on CNN acceleration utilize low-rank approximation of the original convolution layers to reduce computation cost. However, these methods are very difficult to conduct upon sparse models, which limits execution speedup since redundancies within the CNN model are not fully exploited. We argue that kernel granularity decomposition can be conducted with low-rank assumption while exploiting the redundancy within the remaining compact coefficients. Based on this observation, we propose PENNI,more »a CNN model compression framework that is able to achieve model compactness and hardware efficiency simultaneously by (1) implementing kernel sharing in convolution layers via a small number of basis kernels and (2) alternately adjusting bases and coefficients with sparse constraints. Experiments show that we can prune 97% parameters and 92% FLOPs on ResNet18 CIFAR10 with no accuracy loss, and achieve 44% reduction in run-time memory consumption and a 53% reduction in inference latency.« less
  4. Modern deep neural networks (DNNs) often require high memory consumption and large computational loads. In order to deploy DNN algorithms efficiently on edge or mobile devices, a series of DNN compression algorithms have been explored, including factorization methods. Factorization methods approximate the weight matrix of a DNN layer with the multiplication of two or multiple low-rank matrices. However, it is hard to measure the ranks of DNN layers during the training process. Previous works mainly induce low-rank through implicit approximations or via costly singular value decomposition (SVD) process on every training step. The former approach usually induces a high accuracymore »loss while the latter has a low efficiency. In this work, we propose SVD training, the first method to explicitly achieve low-rank DNNs during training without applying SVD on every step. SVD training first decomposes each layer into the form of its full-rank SVD, then performs training directly on the decomposed weights. We add orthogonality regularization to the singular vectors, which ensure the valid form of SVD and avoid gradient vanishing/exploding. Low-rank is encouraged by applying sparsity-inducing regularizers on the singular values of each layer. Singular value pruning is applied at the end to explicitly reach a low-rank model. We empirically show that SVD training can significantly reduce the rank of DNN layers and achieve higher reduction on computation load under the same accuracy, comparing to not only previous factorization methods but also state-of-the-art filter pruning methods.« less
  5. In seeking for sparse and efficient neural network models, many previous works investigated on enforcing `1 or `0 regularizers to encourage weight sparsity during training. The `0 regularizer measures the parameter sparsity directly and is invariant to the scaling of parameter values. But it cannot provide useful gradients and therefore requires complex optimization techniques. The `1 regularizer is almost everywhere differentiable and can be easily optimized with gradient descent. Yet it is not scale-invariant and causes the same shrinking rate to all parameters, which is inefficient in increasing sparsity. Inspired by the Hoyer measure (the ratio between `1 and `2more »norms) used in traditional compressed sensing problems, we present DeepHoyer, a set of sparsity-inducing regularizers that are both differentiable almost everywhere and scale-invariant. Our experiments show that enforcing DeepHoyer regularizers can produce even sparser neural network models than previous works, under the same accuracy level. We also show that DeepHoyer can be applied to both element-wise and structural pruning. The codes are available at https://github.com/yanghr/DeepHoyer.« less