Decoupling Weight Regularization from Batch Size for Model Compression

Conventionally, compression-aware training performs weight compression for every mini-batch to compute the impact of compression on the loss function. In this paper, in order to study when would be the right time to compress weights during optimization steps, we propose a new hyper-parameter called Non-Regularization period or NR period during which weights are not updated for regularization. We first investigate the influence of NR period on regularization using weight decay and weight random noise insertion. Throughout various experiments, we show that stronger weight regularization demands longer NR period (regardless of batch size) to best utilize regularization effects. From our empirical evidence, we argue that weight regularization for every mini-batch allows small weight updates only and limited regularization effects such that there is a need to search for right NR period and weight regularization strength to enhance model accuracy. Consequently, NR period becomes especially crucial for model compression where large weight updates are necessary to increase compression ratio. Using various models, we show that simple weight updates to comply with compression formats along with long NR period is enough to achieve high compression ratio and model accuracy.

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