Dynamic Sparse Training with Structured Sparsity

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: Machine Learning, dynamic sparse training, structured sparsity, N:M sparsity, efficient deep learning, RigL, SRigL, constant fan-in, dynamic neuron ablation, neuron ablation, structured and fine-grained sparsity, online inference, accelerating inference
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TL;DR: SRigL: a dynamic sparse training method that learns structured and constant fan-in sparsity to match SOTA generalization performance while accelerating inference
Abstract: Dynamic Sparse Training (DST) methods achieve state-of-the-art results in sparse neural network training, matching the generalization of dense models while enabling sparse training and inference. Although the resulting models are highly sparse and theoretically less computationally expensive, achieving speedups with unstructured sparsity on real-world hardware is challenging. In this work, we propose a sparse-to-sparse DST method, Structured RigL (SRigL), to learn a variant of fine-grained structured N:M sparsity by imposing a constant fan-in constraint. Using our empirical analysis of existing DST methods at high sparsity, we additionally employ a neuron ablation method which enables SRigL to achieve state-of-the-art sparse-to-sparse structured DST performance on a variety of Neural Network (NN) architectures. Using a 90% sparse linear layer, we demonstrate a real-world acceleration of 3.4×/2.5× on CPU for online inference and 1.7×/13.0× on GPU for inference with a batch size of 256 when compared to equivalent dense/unstructured (CSR) sparse layers, respectively.
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Primary Area: unsupervised, self-supervised, semi-supervised, and supervised representation learning
Submission Number: 6355