Provably Communication-efficient Data-parallel SGD via Nonuniform QuantizationDownload PDF

25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • TL;DR: NUQSGD closes the gap between the theoretical guarantees of QSGD and the empirical performance of QSGDinf.
  • Abstract: As the size and complexity of models and datasets grow, so does the need for communication-efficient variants of stochastic gradient descent that can be deployed on clusters to perform model fitting in parallel. Alistarh et al. (2017) describe two variants of data-parallel SGD that quantize and encode gradients to lessen communication costs. For the first variant, QSGD, they provide strong theoretical guarantees. For the second variant, which we call QSGDinf, they demonstrate impressive empirical gains for distributed training of large neural networks. Building on their work, we propose an alternative scheme for quantizing gradients and show that it yields stronger theoretical guarantees than exist for QSGD while matching the empirical performance of QSGDinf.
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