Keywords: Model Compression, One Shot, Automatic, Generic, User-Friendly
Abstract: The existing model compression methods via structured pruning typically require complicated multi-stage procedures. Each individual stage necessitates numerous engineering efforts and domain-knowledge from the end-users which prevent their wider applications onto broader scenarios. We propose the second generation of Only-Train-Once (OTOv2), which first automatically trains and compresses a general DNN only once from scratch to produce a more compact model with competitive performance without fine-tuning. OTOv2 is automatic and pluggable into various deep learning applications, and requires almost minimal engineering efforts from the users. Methodologically, OTOv2 proposes two major improvements: (i) Autonomy: automatically exploits the dependency of general DNNs, partitions the trainable variables into Zero-Invariant Groups (ZIGs), and constructs the compressed model; and (ii) Dual Half-Space Projected Gradient (DHSPG): a novel optimizer to more reliably solve structured-sparsity problems. Numerically, we demonstrate the generality and autonomy of OTOv2 on a variety of model architectures such as VGG, ResNet, CARN, ConvNeXt, DenseNet and StackedUnets, the majority of which cannot be handled by other methods without extensive handcrafting efforts. Together with benchmark datasets including CIFAR10/100, DIV2K, Fashion-MNIST, SVNH and ImageNet, its effectiveness is validated by performing competitively or even better than the state-of-the-arts. The source code is available at https://github.com/tianyic/only_train_once.
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