- Abstract: Convolutional nets have been shown to achieve state-of-the-art accuracy in many biomedical image analysis tasks. To deploy convolutional nets in practical working systems, it is also important to solve the efficient inference problem. Namely, one should be able to apply an already-trained convolutional network to many large images using limited computational resources. 3D images are especially relevant because biological tissues are 3D, and data volumes are typically high for 3D. While it is common to use GPUs for convolutional net inference, there may be environments where CPUs are more abundant or accessible. In this paper we present PZnet, a CPU-only engine that can be used to perform inference for a variety of 3D convolutional net architectures. PZNet outperforms MKL-based CPU implementations of PyTorch and Tensorflow by more than 3.5x for the popular 3D U-net architecture. Moreover, based on current pricing of preemptible or spot instances, cloud CPU inference with PZnet is competitive in cost with cloud GPU inference, for U-net style architectures.
- Keywords: Efficiency, 3D, CPU
- Author Affiliation: Princeton University, MIT