Filter Pruning via Feature Discrimination in Deep Neural Networks

Zhiqiang He, Yaguan Qian, Yuqi Wang, Bin Wang, Xiaohui Guan, Zhaoquan Gu, Xiang Ling, Shaoning Zeng, Haijiang Wang, Wujie Zhou ;


"Filter pruning is one of the most effective methods to compress deep convolutional networks (CNNs). In this paper, as a key component in filter pruning, We first propose a feature discrimination based filter importance criterion, namely Receptive Field Criterion (RFC). It turns the maximum activation responses that characterize the receptive field into probabilities, then measure the filter importance by the distribution of these probabilities from a new perspective of feature discrimination. However, directly applying RFC to global threshold pruning may lead to some problems, because global threshold pruning neglects the differences between different layers. Hence, we propose Distinguishing Layer Pruning based on RFC (DLRFC), i.e., discriminately prune the filters in different layers, which avoids measuring filters between different layers directly against filter criteria. Specifically, our method first selects relatively redundant layers by hard and soft changes of the network output, and then prunes only at these layers. The whole process dynamically adjusts redundant layers through iterations. Extensive experiments conducted on CIFAR-10/100 and ImageNet show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance in several benchmarks."

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