Quantization-Guided Training for Compact TinyML ModelsDownload PDF

Dec 21, 2020 (edited Feb 26, 2021)tinyML 2021 RegularReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: deep learning, quantization, visual wakeup
  • TL;DR: We propose a training method to produce tinyML models below 8-bit precision, with benchmark results for visual wakeup systems.
  • Abstract: We address the methodology to train and quantize deep neural networks (DNNs) in order to produce compact models while maintaining algorithmic accuracy. In this paper, we propose a Quantization Guided Training (QGT) method to guide DNN training towards optimized low-bit-precision targets, and reach extreme compression levels below 8-bit precision. Unlike standard quantization-aware training (QAT) approaches, QGT uses customized regularization to encourage weight values towards a distribution that maximizes accuracy while reducing quantization errors. We validate QGT using state-of-the-art model architectures (MobileNet, ResNet) on vision datasets. We also demonstrate the effectiveness with an 81KB tiny model for person detection down to 2-bit precision (representing 17.7x size reduction), while maintaining an accuracy drop of only 3\% compared to a floating-point baseline.
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