- Keywords: dropout, dropconnect, sparsification, deep learning, neural network
- TL;DR: iSparse eliminates irrelevant or insignificant network edges with minimal impact on network performance by determining edge importance w.r.t. the final network output.
- Abstract: Deep neural networks have demonstrated unprecedented success in various knowledge management applications. However, the networks created are often very complex, with large numbers of trainable edges which require extensive computational resources. We note that many successful networks nevertheless often contain large numbers of redundant edges. Moreover, many of these edges may have negligible contributions towards the overall network performance. In this paper, we propose a novel iSparse framework and experimentally show, that we can sparsify the network, by 30-50%, without impacting the network performance. iSparse leverages a novel edge significance score, E, to determine the importance of an edge with respect to the final network output. Furthermore, iSparse can be applied both while training a model or on top of a pre-trained model, making it a retraining-free approach - leading to a minimal computational overhead. Comparisons of iSparse against PFEC, NISP, DropConnect, and Retraining-Free on benchmark datasets show that iSparse leads to effective network sparsifications.