AdaPruner: Adaptive Channel Pruning and Effective Weights Inheritance

14 Sep 2021  ·  Xiangcheng Liu, Jian Cao, Hongyi Yao, Wenyu Sun, Yuan Zhang ·

Channel pruning is one of the major compression approaches for deep neural networks. While previous pruning methods have mostly focused on identifying unimportant channels, channel pruning is considered as a special case of neural architecture search in recent years. However, existing methods are either complicated or prone to sub-optimal pruning. In this paper, we propose a pruning framework that adaptively determines the number of each layer's channels as well as the wights inheritance criteria for sub-network. Firstly, evaluate the importance of each block in the network based on the mean of the scaling parameters of the BN layers. Secondly, use the bisection method to quickly find the compact sub-network satisfying the budget. Finally, adaptively and efficiently choose the weight inheritance criterion that fits the current architecture and fine-tune the pruned network to recover performance. AdaPruner allows to obtain pruned network quickly, accurately and efficiently, taking into account both the structure and initialization weights. We prune the currently popular CNN models (VGG, ResNet, MobileNetV2) on different image classification datasets, and the experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method. On ImageNet, we reduce 32.8% FLOPs of MobileNetV2 with only 0.62% decrease for top-1 accuracy, which exceeds all previous state-of-the-art channel pruning methods. The code will be released.

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