Keywords: Sparse Neural Network, Fixed-to-fixed data compression, Unstructured Pruning
Abstract: Even though fine-grained pruning techniques achieve a high compression ratio, conventional sparsity representations (such as CSR) associated with irregular sparsity degrade parallelism significantly. Practical pruning methods, thus, usually lower pruning rates (by structured pruning) to improve parallelism. In this paper, we study fixed-to-fixed (lossless) encoding architecture/algorithm to support fine-grained pruning methods such that sparse neural networks can be stored in a highly regular structure. We first estimate the maximum compression ratio of encoding-based compression using entropy. Then, as an effort to push the compression ratio to the theoretical maximum (by entropy), we propose a sequential fixed-to-fixed encoding scheme. We demonstrate that our proposed compression scheme achieves almost the maximum compression ratio for the Transformer and ResNet-50 pruned by various fine-grained pruning methods.
One-sentence Summary: We propose a fixed-to-fixed weight compression scheme even when weights are pruned in a fine-grained manner.