NeurRev: Train Better Sparse Neural Network Practically via Neuron Revitalization

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: Dynamic Sparse Training; Neuron Revitalization
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Abstract: Dynamic Sparse Training (DST) employs a greedy search mechanism to identify an optimal sparse subnetwork by periodically pruning and growing network connections during training. To guarantee effectiveness, DST algorithms rely on high search frequency, which consequently, requires large learning rate and batch size to enforce stable neuron learning. Such settings demand extreme memory consumption, as well as generating significant system overheads that limit the wide deployment of deep learning-based applications on resource-constraint platforms. To reconcile such, we propose $\underline{Neur}$on $\underline{Rev}$italization framework for DST (NeurRev), based on an innovative finding that dormant neurons exist with the presence of weight sparsity, and cannot be revitalized (i.e., activated for learning) even with high sparse mask search frequency. These dormant neurons produce a large quantity of zeros during training, which contribute relatively little to the outputs of succeeding layers or to the final results. Different from most existing DST algorithms that spare no effort designing weight growing criteria, NeurRev focuses on optimizing the long-neglected pruning part, which awakes dormant neurons by pruning and incurs no additional computation costs. As such, NeurRev advances more effective neuron learning, which not only achieves outperforming accuracy in a variety of networks and datasets, but also promoting a low-cost dynamism at system-level. Systematical evaluations on training speed and system overhead are conducted on the mobile devices, where the proposed NeurRev framework consistently outperforms representative state-of-the-arts. Code will be released.
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Primary Area: representation learning for computer vision, audio, language, and other modalities
Submission Number: 2952