Generative Large Language Models (LLMs) based on the Transformer architecture have recently emerged as a dominant foundation model for a wide range of Natural Language Processing tasks. Nevertheless, their application in real-time scenarios has been highly restricted due to the significant inference latency associated with these models. This is particularly pronounced due to the autoregressive nature of generative LLM inference, where tokens are generated sequentially since each token depends on all previous output tokens. It is therefore challenging to achieve any token-level parallelism, making inference extremely memory-bound. In this work, we propose SPEED, which improves inference efficiency by speculatively executing multiple future tokens in parallel with the current token using predicted values based on early-layer hidden states. For Transformer decoders that employ parameter sharing, the memory operations for the tokens executing in parallel can be amortized, which allows us to accelerate generative LLM inference. We demonstrate the efficiency of our method in terms of latency reduction relative to model accuracy and demonstrate how speculation allows for training deeper decoders with parameter sharing with minimal runtime overhead.
Generative Large Language Models (LLMs) have demonstrated remarkable results for a wide range of tasks. However, deploying these models for inference has been a significant challenge due to their unprecedented resource requirements. This has forced existing deployment frameworks to use multi-GPU inference pipelines, which are often complex and costly, or to use smaller and less performant models. In this work, we demonstrate that the main bottleneck for generative inference with LLMs is memory bandwidth, rather than compute, specifically for single batch inference. While quantization has emerged as a promising solution by representing model weights with reduced precision, previous efforts have often resulted in notable performance degradation. To address this, we introduce SqueezeLLM, a post-training quantization framework that not only enables lossless compression to ultra-low precisions of up to 3-bit, but also achieves higher quantization performance under the same memory constraint. Our framework incorporates two novel ideas: (i) sensitivity-based non-uniform quantization, which searches for the optimal bit precision assignment based on second-order information; and (ii) the Dense-and-Sparse decomposition that stores outliers and sensitive weight values in an efficient sparse format. When applied to the LLaMA models, our 3-bit quantization significantly reduces the perplexity gap from the FP16 baseline by up to 2.1x as compared to the state-of-the-art methods with the same memory requirement. Furthermore, when deployed on an A6000 GPU, our quantized models achieve up to 2.3x speedup compared to the baseline. Our code is open-sourced and available online.
Pre-trained machine learning (ML) models have shown great performance for a wide range of applications, in particular in natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV). Here, we study how pre-training could be used for scientific machine learning (SciML) applications, specifically in the context of transfer learning. We study the transfer behavior of these models as (i) the pre-trained model size is scaled, (ii) the downstream training dataset size is scaled, (iii) the physics parameters are systematically pushed out of distribution, and (iv) how a single model pre-trained on a mixture of different physics problems can be adapted to various downstream applications. We find that-when fine-tuned appropriately-transfer learning can help reach desired accuracy levels with orders of magnitude fewer downstream examples (across different tasks that can even be out-of-distribution) than training from scratch, with consistent behavior across a wide range of downstream examples. We also find that fine-tuning these models yields more performance gains as model size increases, compared to training from scratch on new downstream tasks. These results hold for a broad range of PDE learning tasks. All in all, our results demonstrate the potential of the "pre-train and fine-tune" paradigm for SciML problems, demonstrating a path towards building SciML foundation models. We open-source our code for reproducibility.
We develop an end-to-end workflow for the training and implementation of co-designed neural networks (NNs) for efficient field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) hardware. Our approach leverages Hessian-aware quantization (HAWQ) of NNs, the Quantized Open Neural Network Exchange (QONNX) intermediate representation, and the hls4ml tool flow for transpiling NNs into FPGA and ASIC firmware. This makes efficient NN implementations in hardware accessible to nonexperts, in a single open-sourced workflow that can be deployed for real-time machine learning applications in a wide range of scientific and industrial settings. We demonstrate the workflow in a particle physics application involving trigger decisions that must operate at the 40 MHz collision rate of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Given the high collision rate, all data processing must be implemented on custom ASIC and FPGA hardware within a strict area and latency. Based on these constraints, we implement an optimized mixed-precision NN classifier for high-momentum particle jets in simulated LHC proton-proton collisions.
Recent advances in state-of-the-art DNN architecture design have been moving toward Transformer models. These models achieve superior accuracy across a wide range of applications. This trend has been consistent over the past several years since Transformer models were originally introduced. However, the amount of compute and bandwidth required for inference of recent Transformer models is growing at a significant rate, and this has made their deployment in latency-sensitive applications challenging. As such, there has been an increased focus on making Transformer models more efficient, with methods that range from changing the architecture design, all the way to developing dedicated domain-specific accelerators. In this work, we survey different approaches for efficient Transformer inference, including: (i) analysis and profiling of the bottlenecks in existing Transformer architectures and their similarities and differences with previous convolutional models; (ii) implications of Transformer architecture on hardware, including the impact of non-linear operations such as Layer Normalization, Softmax, and GELU, as well as linear operations, on hardware design; (iii) approaches for optimizing a fixed Transformer architecture; (iv) challenges in finding the right mapping and scheduling of operations for Transformer models; and (v) approaches for optimizing Transformer models by adapting the architecture using neural architecture search. Finally, we perform a case study by applying the surveyed optimizations on Gemmini, the open-source, full-stack DNN accelerator generator, and we show how each of these approaches can yield improvements, compared to previous benchmark results on Gemmini. Among other things, we find that a full-stack co-design approach with the aforementioned methods can result in up to 88.7x speedup with a minimal performance degradation for Transformer inference.
The recent emergence of Large Language Models based on the Transformer architecture has enabled dramatic advancements in the field of Natural Language Processing. However, these models have long inference latency, which limits their deployment, and which makes them prohibitively expensive for various real-time applications. The inference latency is further exacerbated by autoregressive generative tasks, as models need to run iteratively to generate tokens sequentially without leveraging token-level parallelization. To address this, we propose Big Little Decoder (BiLD), a framework that can improve inference efficiency and latency for a wide range of text generation applications. The BiLD framework contains two models with different sizes that collaboratively generate text. The small model runs autoregressively to generate text with a low inference cost, and the large model is only invoked occasionally to refine the small model's inaccurate predictions in a non-autoregressive manner. To coordinate the small and large models, BiLD introduces two simple yet effective policies: (1) the fallback policy that determines when to hand control over to the large model; and (2) the rollback policy that determines when the large model needs to review and correct the small model's inaccurate predictions. To evaluate our framework across different tasks and models, we apply BiLD to various text generation scenarios encompassing machine translation on IWSLT 2017 De-En and WMT 2014 De-En, summarization on CNN/DailyMail, and language modeling on WikiText-2. On an NVIDIA Titan Xp GPU, our framework achieves a speedup of up to 2.13x without any performance drop, and it achieves up to 2.38x speedup with only ~1 point degradation. Furthermore, our framework is fully plug-and-play as it does not require any training or modifications to model architectures. Our code will be open-sourced.
Physics-informed neural networks (PINNs) incorporate physical knowledge from the problem domain as a soft constraint on the loss function, but recent work has shown that this can lead to optimization difficulties. Here, we study the impact of the location of the collocation points on the trainability of these models. We find that the vanilla PINN performance can be significantly boosted by adapting the location of the collocation points as training proceeds. Specifically, we propose a novel adaptive collocation scheme which progressively allocates more collocation points (without increasing their number) to areas where the model is making higher errors (based on the gradient of the loss function in the domain). This, coupled with a judicious restarting of the training during any optimization stalls (by simply resampling the collocation points in order to adjust the loss landscape) leads to better estimates for the prediction error. We present results for several problems, including a 2D Poisson and diffusion-advection system with different forcing functions. We find that training vanilla PINNs for these problems can result in up to 70% prediction error in the solution, especially in the regime of low collocation points. In contrast, our adaptive schemes can achieve up to an order of magnitude smaller error, with similar computational complexity as the baseline. Furthermore, we find that the adaptive methods consistently perform on-par or slightly better than vanilla PINN method, even for large collocation point regimes. The code for all the experiments has been open sourced.
The recently proposed Conformer model has become the de facto backbone model for various downstream speech tasks based on its hybrid attention-convolution architecture that captures both local and global features. However, through a series of systematic studies, we find that the Conformer architecture's design choices are not optimal. After reexamining the design choices for both the macro and micro-architecture of Conformer, we propose the Squeezeformer model, which consistently outperforms the state-of-the-art ASR models under the same training schemes. In particular, for the macro-architecture, Squeezeformer incorporates (i) the Temporal U-Net structure, which reduces the cost of the multi-head attention modules on long sequences, and (ii) a simpler block structure of feed-forward module, followed up by multi-head attention or convolution modules, instead of the Macaron structure proposed in Conformer. Furthermore, for the micro-architecture, Squeezeformer (i) simplifies the activations in the convolutional block, (ii) removes redundant Layer Normalization operations, and (iii) incorporates an efficient depth-wise downsampling layer to efficiently sub-sample the input signal. Squeezeformer achieves state-of-the-art results of 7.5%, 6.5%, and 6.0% word-error-rate on Librispeech test-other without external language models. This is 3.1%, 1.4%, and 0.6% better than Conformer-CTC with the same number of FLOPs. Our code is open-sourced and available online.
In this community review report, we discuss applications and techniques for fast machine learning (ML) in science -- the concept of integrating power ML methods into the real-time experimental data processing loop to accelerate scientific discovery. The material for the report builds on two workshops held by the Fast ML for Science community and covers three main areas: applications for fast ML across a number of scientific domains; techniques for training and implementing performant and resource-efficient ML algorithms; and computing architectures, platforms, and technologies for deploying these algorithms. We also present overlapping challenges across the multiple scientific domains where common solutions can be found. This community report is intended to give plenty of examples and inspiration for scientific discovery through integrated and accelerated ML solutions. This is followed by a high-level overview and organization of technical advances, including an abundance of pointers to source material, which can enable these breakthroughs.
Recent work in scientific machine learning has developed so-called physics-informed neural network (PINN) models. The typical approach is to incorporate physical domain knowledge as soft constraints on an empirical loss function and use existing machine learning methodologies to train the model. We demonstrate that, while existing PINN methodologies can learn good models for relatively trivial problems, they can easily fail to learn relevant physical phenomena even for simple PDEs. In particular, we analyze several distinct situations of widespread physical interest, including learning differential equations with convection, reaction, and diffusion operators. We provide evidence that the soft regularization in PINNs, which involves differential operators, can introduce a number of subtle problems, including making the problem ill-conditioned. Importantly, we show that these possible failure modes are not due to the lack of expressivity in the NN architecture, but that the PINN's setup makes the loss landscape very hard to optimize. We then describe two promising solutions to address these failure modes. The first approach is to use curriculum regularization, where the PINN's loss term starts from a simple PDE regularization, and becomes progressively more complex as the NN gets trained. The second approach is to pose the problem as a sequence-to-sequence learning task, rather than learning to predict the entire space-time at once. Extensive testing shows that we can achieve up to 1-2 orders of magnitude lower error with these methods as compared to regular PINN training.