DropPruning for Model Compression

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have dramatically achieved great success on a variety of challenging tasks. However, most of the successful DNNs are structurally so complex, leading to much storage requirement and floating-point operation. This paper proposes a novel technique, named Drop Pruning, to compress the DNNs by pruning the weights from a dense high-accuracy baseline model without accuracy loss. Drop Pruning also falls into the standard iterative prune-retrain procedure, where a \emph{drop} strategy exists at each pruning step: \emph{drop out}, stochastic deleting some unimportant weights and \emph{drop in}, stochastic recovering some pruned weights. \emph{Drop out} and \emph{drop in} are supposed to handle the two drawbacks of the traditional pruning methods: local importance judgment and irretrievable pruning process, respectively. The suitable choosing of \emph{drop} probabilities can decrease the model size during pruning process and lead it to flow to the target sparsity. Drop Pruning also has some similar spirits with dropout, a stochastic algorithm in Integer Optimization and the Dense-Sparse-Dense training technique. Drop Pruning can significantly reducing overfitting while compressing the model. Experimental results demonstrates that Drop Pruning can achieve the state-of-the-art performance on many benchmark pruning tasks, about ${11.1\times}$ compression of VGG-16 on CIFAR10 and ${14.3\times}$ compression of LeNet-5 on MNIST without accuracy loss, which may provide some new insights into the aspect of model compression.

Campfire: Compressible, Regularization-Free, Structured Sparse Training for Hardware Accelerators

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper studies structured sparse training of CNNs with a gradual pruning technique that leads to fixed, sparse weight matrices after a set number of epochs. We simplify the structure of the enforced sparsity so that it reduces overhead caused by regularization. The proposed training methodology Campfire explores pruning at granularities within a convolutional kernel and filter. We study various tradeoffs with respect to pruning duration, level of sparsity, and learning rate configuration. We show that our method creates a sparse version of ResNet-50 and ResNet-50 v1.5 on full ImageNet while remaining within a negligible <1% margin of accuracy loss. To ensure that this type of sparse training does not harm the robustness of the network, we also demonstrate how the network behaves in the presence of adversarial attacks. Our results show that with 70% target sparsity, over 75% top-1 accuracy is achievable.

PCONV: The Missing but Desirable Sparsity in DNN Weight Pruning for Real-time Execution on Mobile Devices

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Model compression techniques on Deep Neural Network (DNN) have been widely acknowledged as an effective way to achieve acceleration on a variety of platforms, and DNN weight pruning is a straightforward and effective method. There are currently two mainstreams of pruning methods representing two extremes of pruning regularity: non-structured, fine-grained pruning can achieve high sparsity and accuracy, but is not hardware friendly; structured, coarse-grained pruning exploits hardware-efficient structures in pruning, but suffers from accuracy drop when the pruning rate is high. In this paper, we introduce PCONV, comprising a new sparsity dimension, -- fine-grained pruning patterns inside the coarse-grained structures. PCONV comprises two types of sparsities, Sparse Convolution Patterns (SCP) which is generated from intra-convolution kernel pruning and connectivity sparsity generated from inter-convolution kernel pruning. Essentially, SCP enhances accuracy due to its special vision properties, and connectivity sparsity increases pruning rate while maintaining balanced workload on filter computation. To deploy PCONV, we develop a novel compiler-assisted DNN inference framework and execute PCONV models in real-time without accuracy compromise, which cannot be achieved in prior work. Our experimental results show that, PCONV outperforms three state-of-art end-to-end DNN frameworks, TensorFlow-Lite, TVM, and Alibaba Mobile Neural Network with speedup up to 39.2x, 11.4x, and 6.3x, respectively, with no accuracy loss. Mobile devices can achieve real-time inference on large-scale DNNs.

Hybrid Pruning: Thinner Sparse Networks for Fast Inference on Edge Devices

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We introduce hybrid pruning which combines both coarse-grained channel and fine-grained weight pruning to reduce model size, computation and power demands with no to little loss in accuracy for enabling modern networks deployment on resource-constrained devices, such as always-on security cameras and drones. Additionally, to effectively perform channel pruning, we propose a fast sensitivity test that helps us quickly identify the sensitivity of within and across layers of a network to the output accuracy for target multiplier-accumulators (MACs) or accuracy tolerance. Our experiment shows significantly better results on ResNet50 on ImageNet compared to existing work, even with an additional constraint of channels be hardware-friendly number.

A "Network Pruning Network" Approach to Deep Model Compression

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We present a filter pruning approach for deep model compression, using a multitask network. Our approach is based on learning a a pruner network to prune a pre-trained target network. The pruner is essentially a multitask deep neural network with binary outputs that help identify the filters from each layer of the original network that do not have any significant contribution to the model and can therefore be pruned. The pruner network has the same architecture as the original network except that it has a multitask/multi-output last layer containing binary-valued outputs (one per filter), which indicate which filters have to be pruned. The pruner's goal is to minimize the number of filters from the original network by assigning zero weights to the corresponding output feature-maps. In contrast to most of the existing methods, instead of relying on iterative pruning, our approach can prune the network (original network) in one go and, moreover, does not require specifying the degree of pruning for each layer (and can learn it instead). The compressed model produced by our approach is generic and does not need any special hardware/software support. Moreover, augmenting with other methods such as knowledge distillation, quantization, and connection pruning can increase the degree of compression for the proposed approach. We show the efficacy of our proposed approach for classification and object detection tasks.