Weight Fixing Networks

Christopher Subia-Waud, Srinandan Dasmahapatra ;


"Modern iterations of deep learning models contain millions (billions) of unique parameters--each represented by a $b$-bit number. Popular attempts at compressing neural networks (such as pruning and quantisation) have shown that many of the parameters are superfluous, which we can remove (pruning) or express with $b’ < b$ bits (quantisation) without hindering performance. Here we look to go much further in minimising the information content of networks. Rather than a channel or layer-wise encoding, we look to lossless whole-network quantisation to minimise the entropy and number of unique parameters in a network. We propose a new method, which we call Weight Fixing Networks (WFN) that we design to realise four model outcome objectives: i) very few unique weights, ii) low-entropy weight encodings, iii) unique weight values which are amenable to energy-saving versions of hardware multiplication, and iv) lossless task-performance. Some of these goals are conflicting. To best balance these conflicts, we combine a few novel (and some well-trodden) tricks; a novel regularisation term, (i, ii) a view of clustering cost as relative distance change (i, ii, iv), and a focus on whole-network re-use of weights (i, iii). Our Imagenet experiments demonstrate lossless compression using 56x fewer unique weights and a 1.9x lower weight-space entropy than SOTA quantisation approaches."

Related Material

[pdf] [supplementary material] [DOI]