Rethinking the Smaller-Norm-Less-Informative Assumption in Channel Pruning of Convolution Layers


Nov 03, 2017 (modified: Dec 11, 2017) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Model pruning has become a useful technique that improves the computational efficiency of deep learning, making it possible to deploy solutions on resource- limited scenarios. A widely-used practice in relevant work assumes that a smaller- norm parameter or feature plays a less informative role at the inference time. In this paper, we propose a channel pruning technique for accelerating the computations of deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs), which does not critically rely on this assumption. Instead, it focuses on direct simplification of the channel-to-channel computation graph of a CNN without the need of performing a computational difficult and not always useful task of making high-dimensional tensors of CNN structured sparse. Our approach takes two stages: the first being to adopt an end-to-end stochastic training method that eventually forces the outputs of some channels being constant, and the second being to prune those constant channels from the original neural network by adjusting the biases of their impacting layers such that the resulting compact model can be quickly fine-tuned. Our approach is mathematically appealing from an optimization perspective and easy to reproduce. We experimented our approach through several image learning benchmarks and demonstrate its interesting aspects and the competitive performance.
  • TL;DR: A CNN model pruning method using ISTA and rescaling trick to enforce sparsity of scaling parameters in batch normalization.
  • Keywords: model pruning, batch normalization, convolutional neural network, ISTA