- Abstract: Deep neural network (DNN) has rapidly found many applications in different scenarios. However, its large computational cost and memory consumption are barriers to computing restrained applications. DNN model quantization is a widely used method to reduce the DNN storage and computation burden by decreasing the bit width. In this paper, we propose a novel cursor based adaptive quantization method using differentiable architecture search (DAS). The multiple bits’ quantization mechanism is formulated as a DAS process with a continuous cursor that represents the possible quantization bit. The cursor-based DAS adaptively searches for the desired quantization bit for each layer. The DAS process can be solved via an alternative approximate optimization process, which is designed for mixed quantization scheme of a DNN model. We further devise a new loss function in the search process to simultaneously optimize accuracy and parameter size of the model. In the quantization step, based on a new strategy, the closest two integers to the cursor are adopted as the bits to quantize the DNN together to reduce the quantization noise and avoid the local convergence problem. Comprehensive experiments on benchmark datasets show that our cursor based adaptive quantization approach achieves the new state-of-the-art for multiple bits’ quantization and can efficiently obtain lower size model with comparable or even better classification accuracy.
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