Elixir: Train a Large Language Model on a Small GPU Cluster

10 Dec 2022  ·  Haichen Huang, Jiarui Fang, Hongxin Liu, Shenggui Li, Yang You ·

In recent years, large language models have achieved great success due to their unprecedented size. However, training these models poses a challenge for most researchers as it requires a substantial number of GPUs. To reduce GPU memory usage, memory partitioning, and memory offloading have been proposed. These approaches eliminate memory redundancies and offload memory usage to the CPU and NVMe memory, respectively, enabling training on small GPU clusters. However, directly deploying these solutions often leads to suboptimal efficiency. Only experienced experts can unleash the full potential of hardware by carefully tuning the distributed configuration. Thus, we present a novel solution, Elixir, which automates efficient large-model training based on pre-runtime model profiling. Elixir aims to identify the optimal combination of partitioning and offloading techniques to maximize training throughput. In our experiments, Elixir significantly outperforms the current state-of-the-art baseline. Our optimal configuration achieves up to a 3.4$\times$ speedup on GPT-2 models compared with SOTA solutions. We hope that our work will benefit individuals who lack computing resources and expertise, granting them access to large models. The beta version of Elixir is now available at https://github.com/hpcaitech/ColossalAI/tree/feature/elixir.

PDF Abstract


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.