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  4. 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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  5. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) are becoming increasingly deeper, wider, and non-linear because of the growing demand on prediction accuracy and analysis quality. The wide and deep CNNs, however, require a large amount of computing resources and processing time. Many previous works have studied model pruning to improve inference performance, but little work has been done for effectively reducing training cost. In this paper, we propose ClickTrain: an efficient and accurate end-to-end training and pruning framework for CNNs. Different from the existing pruning-during-training work, ClickTrain provides higher model accuracy and compression ratio via fine-grained architecture-preserving pruning. By leveraging pattern-based pruning with our proposed novel accurate weight importance estimation, dynamic pattern generation and selection, and compiler-assisted computation optimizations, ClickTrain generates highly accurate and fast pruned CNN models for direct deployment without any extra time overhead, compared with the baseline training. ClickTrain also reduces the end-to-end time cost of the pruning-after-training method by up to 2.3X with comparable accuracy and compression ratio. Moreover, compared with the state-of-the-art pruning-during-training approach, ClickTrain provides significant improvements both accuracy and compression ratio on the tested CNN models and datasets, under similar limited training time. 
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