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RMSMP: A Novel Deep Neural Network Quantization Framework with Row-wise Mixed Schemes and Multiple Precisions

by   Sung-En Chang, et al.
Northeastern University
George Mason University
Michigan State University

This work proposes a novel Deep Neural Network (DNN) quantization framework, namely RMSMP, with a Row-wise Mixed-Scheme and Multi-Precision approach. Specifically, this is the first effort to assign mixed quantization schemes and multiple precisions within layers – among rows of the DNN weight matrix, for simplified operations in hardware inference, while preserving accuracy. Furthermore, this paper makes a different observation from the prior work that the quantization error does not necessarily exhibit the layer-wise sensitivity, and actually can be mitigated as long as a certain portion of the weights in every layer are in higher precisions. This observation enables layer-wise uniformality in the hardware implementation towards guaranteed inference acceleration, while still enjoying row-wise flexibility of mixed schemes and multiple precisions to boost accuracy. The candidates of schemes and precisions are derived practically and effectively with a highly hardware-informative strategy to reduce the problem search space. With the offline determined ratio of different quantization schemes and precisions for all the layers, the RMSMP quantization algorithm uses the Hessian and variance-based method to effectively assign schemes and precisions for each row. The proposed RMSMP is tested for the image classification and natural language processing (BERT) applications and achieves the best accuracy performance among state-of-the-arts under the same equivalent precisions. The RMSMP is implemented on FPGA devices, achieving 3.65x speedup in the end-to-end inference time for ResNet-18 on ImageNet, compared with the 4-bit Fixed-point baseline.


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