Adaptive Activation-based Structured Pruning

21 Jan 2022  ·  Kaiqi Zhao, Animesh Jain, Ming Zhao ·

Pruning is a promising approach to compress complex deep learning models in order to deploy them on resource-constrained edge devices. However, many existing pruning solutions are based on unstructured pruning, which yield models that cannot efficiently run on commodity hardware, and require users to manually explore and tune the pruning process, which is time consuming and often leads to sub-optimal results. To address these limitations, this paper presents an adaptive, activation-based, structured pruning approach to automatically and efficiently generate small, accurate, and hardware-efficient models that meet user requirements. First, it proposes iterative structured pruning using activation-based attention feature maps to effectively identify and prune unimportant filters. Then, it proposes adaptive pruning policies for automatically meeting the pruning objectives of accuracy-critical, memory-constrained, and latency-sensitive tasks. A comprehensive evaluation shows that the proposed method can substantially outperform the state-of-the-art structured pruning works on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet datasets. For example, on ResNet-56 with CIFAR-10, without any accuracy drop, our method achieves the largest parameter reduction (79.11%), outperforming the related works by 22.81% to 66.07%, and the largest FLOPs reduction (70.13%), outperforming the related works by 14.13% to 26.53%.

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