Knossos: Compiling AI with AI

Sep 25, 2019 ICLR 2020 Conference Withdrawn Submission readers: everyone
  • TL;DR: We combine A* search with reinforcement learning to speed up machine learning code
  • Abstract: Machine learning workloads are often expensive to train, taking weeks to converge. The current generation of frameworks relies on custom back-ends in order to achieve efficiency, making it impractical to train models on less common hardware where no such back-ends exist. Knossos builds on recent work that avoids the need for hand-written libraries, instead compiles machine learning models in much the same way one would compile other kinds of software. In order to make the resulting code efficient, the Knossos complier directly optimises the abstract syntax tree of the program. However in contrast to traditional compilers that employ hand-written optimisation passes, we take a rewriting approach driven by the $A^\star$ search algorithm and a learn value function that evaluates future potential cost reduction of taking various rewriting actions to the program. We show that Knossos can automatically learned optimisations that past compliers had to implement by hand. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Knossos can achieve wall time reduction compared to a hand-tuned compiler on a suite of machine learning programs, including basic linear algebra and convolutional networks. The Knossos compiler has minimal dependencies and can be used on any architecture that supports a \Cpp toolchain. Since cost model the proposed algorithm optimises can be tailored to a particular hardware architecture, the proposed approach can potentially applied to a variety of hardware.
  • Keywords: machine learning software, compiler optimization, reinforcement learning, A* search
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