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Data-Efficient Structured Pruning via Submodular Optimization
Marwa El Halabi · Suraj Srinivas · Simon Lacoste-Julien

Thu Dec 01 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Hall J #938

Structured pruning is an effective approach for compressing large pre-trained neural networks without significantly affecting their performance. However, most current structured pruning methods do not provide any performance guarantees, and often require fine-tuning, which makes them inapplicable in the limited-data regime. We propose a principled data-efficient structured pruning method based on submodular optimization. In particular, for a given layer, we select neurons/channels to prune and corresponding new weights for the next layer, that minimize the change in the next layer's input induced by pruning. We show that this selection problem is a weakly submodular maximization problem, thus it can be provably approximated using an efficient greedy algorithm. Our method is guaranteed to have an exponentially decreasing error between the original model and the pruned model outputs w.r.t the pruned size, under reasonable assumptions. It is also one of the few methods in the literature that uses only a limited-number of training data and no labels. Our experimental results demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art methods in the limited-data regime.

Author Information

Marwa El Halabi (Samsung SAIT AI Lab Montreal)
Suraj Srinivas (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University)
Simon Lacoste-Julien (Mila, Université de Montréal & SAIL Montreal)

Simon Lacoste-Julien is an associate professor at Mila and DIRO from Université de Montréal, and Canada CIFAR AI Chair holder. He also heads part time the SAIT AI Lab Montreal from Samsung. His research interests are machine learning and applied math, with applications in related fields like computer vision and natural language processing. He obtained a B.Sc. in math., physics and computer science from McGill, a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley and a post-doc from the University of Cambridge. He spent a few years as a research faculty at INRIA and École normale supérieure in Paris before coming back to his roots in Montreal in 2016 to answer the call from Yoshua Bengio in growing the Montreal AI ecosystem.

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