Structured Probabilistic Pruning for Convolutional Neural Network Acceleration

by   Huan Wang, et al.
Zhejiang University

Although deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) has shown better performance in various computer vision tasks, its application is restricted by a significant increase in storage and computation. Among CNN simplification techniques, parameter pruning is a promising approach which aims at reducing the number of weights of various layers without intensively reducing the original accuracy. In this paper, we propose a novel progressive parameter pruning method, named Structured Probabilistic Pruning (SPP), which effectively prunes weights of convolutional layers in a probabilistic manner. Specifically, unlike existing deterministic pruning approaches, where unimportant weights are permanently eliminated, SPP introduces a pruning probability for each weight, and pruning is guided by sampling from the pruning probabilities. A mechanism is designed to increase and decrease pruning probabilities based on importance criteria for the training process. Experiments show that, with 4x speedup, SPP can accelerate AlexNet with only 0.3 0.8 directly applied to accelerate multi-branch CNN networks, such as ResNet, without specific adaptations. Our 2x speedup ResNet-50 only suffers 0.8 of top-5 accuracy on ImageNet. We further prove the effectiveness of our method on transfer learning task on Flower-102 dataset with AlexNet.


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