RedSync : Reducing Synchronization Traffic for Distributed Deep Learning

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Data parallelism has become a dominant method to scale Deep Neural Network (DNN) training across multiple nodes. Since the synchronization of the local models or gradients can be a bottleneck for large-scale distributed training, compressing communication traffic has gained widespread attention recently. Among several recent proposed compression algorithms, Residual Gradient Compression (RGC) is one of the most successful approaches---it can significantly compress the transmitting message size (0.1% of the gradient size) of each node and still preserve accuracy. However, the literature on compressing deep networks focuses almost exclusively on achieving good compression rate, while the efficiency of RGC in real implementation has been less investigated. In this paper, we develop an RGC method that achieves significant training time improvement in real-world multi-GPU systems. Our proposed RGC system design called RedSync, introduces a set of optimizations to reduce communication bandwidth while introducing limited overhead. We examine the performance of RedSync on two different multiple GPU platforms, including a supercomputer and a multi-card server. Our test cases include image classification on Cifar10 and ImageNet, and language modeling tasks on Penn Treebank and Wiki2 datasets. For DNNs featured with high communication to computation ratio, which has long been considered with poor scalability, RedSync shows significant performance improvement.
  • Keywords: Data parallel, Deep Learning, Multiple GPU system, Communication Compression, Sparsification, Quantization
  • TL;DR: We proposed an implementation to accelerate DNN data parallel training by reducing communication bandwidth requirement.
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