Simultaneously Optimizing Weight and Quantizer of Ternary Neural Network using Truncated Gaussian Approximation

CVPR 2019  ·  Zhezhi He, Deliang Fan ·

In the past years, Deep convolution neural network has achieved great success in many artificial intelligence applications. However, its enormous model size and massive computation cost have become the main obstacle for deployment of such powerful algorithm in the low power and resource-limited mobile systems. As the countermeasure to this problem, deep neural networks with ternarized weights (i.e. -1, 0, +1) have been widely explored to greatly reduce the model size and computational cost, with limited accuracy degradation. In this work, we propose a novel ternarized neural network training method which simultaneously optimizes both weights and quantizer during training, differentiating from prior works. Instead of fixed and uniform weight ternarization, we are the first to incorporate the thresholds of weight ternarization into a closed-form representation using the truncated Gaussian approximation, enabling simultaneous optimization of weights and quantizer through back-propagation training. With both of the first and last layer ternarized, the experiments on the ImageNet classification task show that our ternarized ResNet-18/34/50 only has 3.9/2.52/2.16% accuracy degradation in comparison to the full-precision counterparts.

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