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Model Specialization for Inference Via End-to-End Distillation, Pruning, and Cascades
Nov 07, 2017 (modified: Nov 07, 2017)ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submissionreaders: everyoneShow Bibtex
Abstract:The availability of general-purpose reference and benchmark datasets such as
ImageNet have spurred the development of general-purpose popular reference
model architectures and pre-trained weights. However, in practice, neural net-
works are often employed to perform specific, more restrictive tasks, that are
narrower in scope and complexity. Thus, simply fine-tuning or transfer learn-
ing from a general-purpose network inherits a large computational cost that may
not be necessary for a given task. In this work, we investigate the potential for
model specialization, or reducing a model’s computational footprint by leverag-
ing task-specific knowledge, such as a restricted inference distribution. We study
three methods for model specialization—1) task-aware distillation, 2) task-aware
pruning, and 3) specialized model cascades—and evaluate their performance on
a range of classification tasks. Moreover, for the first time, we investigate how
these techniques complement one another, enabling up to 5× speedups with no
loss in accuracy and 9.8× speedups while remaining within 2.5% of a highly ac-
curate ResNet on specialized image classification tasks. These results suggest that
simple and easy-to-implement specialization procedures may benefit a large num-
ber practical applications in which the representational power of general-purpose
networks need not be inherited.
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