WaveQ: Gradient-Based Deep Quantization of Neural Networks through Sinusoidal Adaptive Regularization

As deep neural networks make their ways into different domains, their compute efficiency is becoming a first-order constraint. Deep quantization, which reduces the bitwidth of the operations (below 8 bits), offers a unique opportunity as it can reduce both the storage and compute requirements of the network super-linearly. However, if not employed with diligence, this can lead to significant accuracy loss. Due to the strong inter-dependence between layers and exhibiting different characteristics across the same network, choosing an optimal bitwidth per layer granularity is not a straight forward. As such, deep quantization opens a large hyper-parameter space, the exploration of which is a major challenge. We propose a novel sinusoidal regularization, called SINAREQ, for deep quantized training. Leveraging the sinusoidal properties, we seek to learn multiple quantization parameterization in conjunction during gradient-based training process. Specifically, we learn (i) a per-layer quantization bitwidth along with (ii) a scale factor through learning the period of the sinusoidal function. At the same time, we exploit the periodicity, differentiability, and the local convexity profile in sinusoidal functions to automatically propel (iii) network weights towards values quantized at levels that are jointly determined. We show how SINAREQ balance compute efficiency and accuracy, and provide a heterogeneous bitwidth assignment for quantization of a large variety of deep networks (AlexNet, CIFAR-10, MobileNet, ResNet-18, ResNet-20, SVHN, and VGG-11) that virtually preserves the accuracy. Furthermore, we carry out experimentation using fixed homogenous bitwidths with 3- to 5-bit assignment and show the versatility of SINAREQ in enhancing quantized training algorithms (DoReFa and WRPN) with about 4.8% accuracy improvements on average, and then outperforming multiple state-of-the-art techniques.

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