Learned Gradient Compression for Distributed Deep Learning

03/16/2021 ∙ by Lusine Abrahamyan, et al. ∙ 0

Training deep neural networks on large datasets containing high-dimensional data requires a large amount of computation. A solution to this problem is data-parallel distributed training, where a model is replicated into several computational nodes that have access to different chunks of the data. This approach, however, entails high communication rates and latency because of the computed gradients that need to be shared among nodes at every iteration. The problem becomes more pronounced in the case that there is wireless communication between the nodes (i.e. due to the limited network bandwidth). To address this problem, various compression methods have been proposed including sparsification, quantization, and entropy encoding of the gradients. Existing methods leverage the intra-node information redundancy, that is, they compress gradients at each node independently. In contrast, we advocate that the gradients across the nodes are correlated and propose methods to leverage this inter-node redundancy to improve compression efficiency. Depending on the node communication protocol (parameter server or ring-allreduce), we propose two instances of the LGC approach that we coin Learned Gradient Compression (LGC). Our methods exploit an autoencoder (i.e. trained during the first stages of the distributed training) to capture the common information that exists in the gradients of the distributed nodes. We have tested our LGC methods on the image classification and semantic segmentation tasks using different convolutional neural networks (ResNet50, ResNet101, PSPNet) and multiple datasets (ImageNet, Cifar10, CamVid). The ResNet101 model trained for image classification on Cifar10 achieved an accuracy of 93.57 distributed training with uncompressed gradients only by 0.18

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