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Probabilistic Weight Fixing: Large-scale training of neural network weight uncertainties for quantisation.

Chris Subia-Waud · Srinandan Dasmahapatra

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #510
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Tue 12 Dec 3:15 p.m. PST — 5:15 p.m. PST


Weight-sharing quantization has emerged as a technique to reduce energy expenditure during inference in large neural networks by constraining their weights to a limited set of values. However, existing methods often assume weights are treated solely based on value, neglecting the unique role of weight position. This paper proposes a probabilistic framework based on Bayesian neural networks (BNNs) and a variational relaxation to identify which weights can be moved to which cluster center and to what degree based on their individual position-specific learned uncertainty distributions. We introduce a new initialization setting and a regularization term, enabling the training of BNNs with complex dataset-model combinations. Leveraging the flexibility of weight values from probability distributions, we enhance noise resilience and compressibility. Our iterative clustering procedure demonstrates superior compressibility and higher accuracy compared to state-of-the-art methods on both ResNet models and the more complex transformer-based architectures. In particular, our method outperforms the state-of-the-art quantization method top-1 accuracy by 1.6\% on ImageNet using DeiT-Tiny, with its 5 million+ weights now represented by only 296 unique values. Code available at

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