Sparse Communication for Training Deep Networks

09/19/2020 ∙ by Negar Foroutan Eghlidi, et al. ∙ 0

Synchronous stochastic gradient descent (SGD) is the most common method used for distributed training of deep learning models. In this algorithm, each worker shares its local gradients with others and updates the parameters using the average gradients of all workers. Although distributed training reduces the computation time, the communication overhead associated with the gradient exchange forms a scalability bottleneck for the algorithm. There are many compression techniques proposed to reduce the number of gradients that needs to be communicated. However, compressing the gradients introduces yet another overhead to the problem. In this work, we study several compression schemes and identify how three key parameters affect the performance. We also provide a set of insights on how to increase performance and introduce a simple sparsification scheme, random-block sparsification, that reduces communication while keeping the performance close to standard SGD.



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