PhD, University of Sydney
Software optimizations of Deep Learning algorithms for efficient hardware implementations.
Artificial intelligence is a growing field and becoming a core part of the efficiency of everyday jobs and lifestyles. From powering the Google search engine to medical imaging systems, these algorithms have a wide range of applications. In the last few years there have been several breakthroughs showing superhuman performance on certain tasks. Although these algorithms are very useful, they require lots of data and computational power to create.
There are ways to redesign these algorithms by reducing the number of parameters or changing the representations of the parameters to be more amenable to computer hardware. This allows for implementations which are more efficient. By being able to redesign and compress the algorithms in this way, it not only broadens the applicability of the algorithm to new application areas, but leads to a significant reduction in power consumption. This leads to the ability to implement these algorithms on embedded devices such as drones, mobile phones...etc. The reduced power consumption also has several positive environmental impacts. Lots of these AI algorithm computations happen in data centers and if data centers were a country they would consume the 5th largest electricity in the world. Therefore this type of research has the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
Abstract: Deep neural networks are widely used in machine learning applications. However, the deployment of large neural networks models can be difficult to deploy on mobile devices with limited power budgets. To solve this problem, we propose Trained Ternary Quantization (TTQ), a method that can reduce the precision of weights in neural networks to ternary values. This method has very little accuracy degradation and can even improve the accuracy of some models (32, 44, 56-layer ResNet) on CIFAR-10 and AlexNet on ImageNet. And our AlexNet model is trained from scratch, which means it's as easy as to train normal full precision model. We highlight our trained quantization method that can learn both ternary values and ternary assignment. During inference, only ternary values (2-bit weights) and scaling factors are needed, therefore our models are nearly 16x smaller than full-precision models. Our ternary models can also be viewed as sparse binary weight networks, which can potentially be accelerated with custom circuit. Experiments on CIFAR-10 show that the ternary models obtained by trained quantization method outperform full-precision models of ResNet-32,44,56 by 0.04%, 0.16%, 0.36%, respectively. On ImageNet, our model outperforms full-precision AlexNet model by 0.3% of Top-1 accuracy and outperforms previous ternary models by 3%.
Pub.: 04 Dec '16, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: Neural networks are both computationally intensive and memory intensive, making them difficult to deploy on embedded systems. Also, conventional networks fix the architecture before training starts; as a result, training cannot improve the architecture. To address these limitations, we describe a method to reduce the storage and computation required by neural networks by an order of magnitude without affecting their accuracy by learning only the important connections. Our method prunes redundant connections using a three-step method. First, we train the network to learn which connections are important. Next, we prune the unimportant connections. Finally, we retrain the network to fine tune the weights of the remaining connections. On the ImageNet dataset, our method reduced the number of parameters of AlexNet by a factor of 9x, from 61 million to 6.7 million, without incurring accuracy loss. Similar experiments with VGG-16 found that the number of parameters can be reduced by 13x, from 138 million to 10.3 million, again with no loss of accuracy.
Pub.: 30 Oct '15, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: We propose two efficient approximations to standard convolutional neural networks: Binary-Weight-Networks and XNOR-Networks. In Binary-Weight-Networks, the filters are approximated with binary values resulting in 32x memory saving. In XNOR-Networks, both the filters and the input to convolutional layers are binary. XNOR-Networks approximate convolutions using primarily binary operations. This results in 58x faster convolutional operations and 32x memory savings. XNOR-Nets offer the possibility of running state-of-the-art networks on CPUs (rather than GPUs) in real-time. Our binary networks are simple, accurate, efficient, and work on challenging visual tasks. We evaluate our approach on the ImageNet classification task. The classification accuracy with a Binary-Weight-Network version of AlexNet is only 2.9% less than the full-precision AlexNet (in top-1 measure). We compare our method with recent network binarization methods, BinaryConnect and BinaryNets, and outperform these methods by large margins on ImageNet, more than 16% in top-1 accuracy.
Pub.: 09 May '16, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: Neural networks are both computationally intensive and memory intensive, making them difficult to deploy on embedded systems with limited hardware resources. To address this limitation, we introduce "deep compression", a three stage pipeline: pruning, trained quantization and Huffman coding, that work together to reduce the storage requirement of neural networks by 35x to 49x without affecting their accuracy. Our method first prunes the network by learning only the important connections. Next, we quantize the weights to enforce weight sharing, finally, we apply Huffman coding. After the first two steps we retrain the network to fine tune the remaining connections and the quantized centroids. Pruning, reduces the number of connections by 9x to 13x; Quantization then reduces the number of bits that represent each connection from 32 to 5. On the ImageNet dataset, our method reduced the storage required by AlexNet by 35x, from 240MB to 6.9MB, without loss of accuracy. Our method reduced the size of VGG-16 by 49x from 552MB to 11.3MB, again with no loss of accuracy. This allows fitting the model into on-chip SRAM cache rather than off-chip DRAM memory. Our compression method also facilitates the use of complex neural networks in mobile applications where application size and download bandwidth are constrained. Benchmarked on CPU, GPU and mobile GPU, compressed network has 3x to 4x layerwise speedup and 3x to 7x better energy efficiency.
Pub.: 15 Feb '16, Pinned: 30 Aug '17