Deep learning recommendation models (DLRMs) are used across many business-critical services at Facebook and are the single largest AI application in terms of infrastructure demand in its data-centers. In this paper we discuss the SW/HW co-designed solution for high-performance distributed training of large-scale DLRMs. We introduce a high-performance scalable software stack based on PyTorch and pair it with the new evolution of Zion platform, namely ZionEX. We demonstrate the capability to train very large DLRMs with up to 12 Trillion parameters and show that we can attain 40X speedup in terms of time to solution over previous systems. We achieve this by (i) designing the ZionEX platform with dedicated scale-out network, provisioned with high bandwidth, optimal topology and efficient transport (ii) implementing an optimized PyTorch-based training stack supporting both model and data parallelism (iii) developing sharding algorithms capable of hierarchical partitioning of the embedding tables along row, column dimensions and load balancing them across multiple workers; (iv) adding high-performance core operators while retaining flexibility to support optimizers with fully deterministic updates (v) leveraging reduced precision communications, multi-level memory hierarchy (HBM+DDR+SSD) and pipelining. Furthermore, we develop and briefly comment on distributed data ingestion and other supporting services that are required for the robust and efficient end-to-end training in production environments.
Machine learning is experiencing an explosion of software and hardware solutions, and needs industry-standard performance benchmarks to drive design and enable competitive evaluation. However, machine learning training presents a number of unique challenges to benchmarking that do not exist in other domains: (1) some optimizations that improve training throughput actually increase time to solution, (2) training is stochastic and time to solution has high variance, and (3) the software and hardware systems are so diverse that they cannot be fairly benchmarked with the same binary, code, or even hyperparameters. We present MLPerf, a machine learning benchmark that overcomes these challenges. We quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of MLPerf in driving community progress on performance and scalability across two rounds of results from multiple vendors.
The widespread application of deep learning has changed the landscape of computation in the data center. In particular, personalized recommendation for content ranking is now largely accomplished leveraging deep neural networks. However, despite the importance of these models and the amount of compute cycles they consume, relatively little research attention has been devoted to systems for recommendation. To facilitate research and to advance the understanding of these workloads, this paper presents a set of real-world, production-scale DNNs for personalized recommendation coupled with relevant performance metrics for evaluation. In addition to releasing a set of open-source workloads, we conduct in-depth analysis that underpins future system design and optimization for at-scale recommendation: Inference latency varies by 60% across three Intel server generations, batching and co-location of inferences can drastically improve latency-bounded throughput, and the diverse composition of recommendation models leads to different optimization strategies.
With the advent of deep learning, neural network-based recommendation models have emerged as an important tool for tackling personalization and recommendation tasks. These networks differ significantly from other deep learning networks due to their need to handle categorical features and are not well studied or understood. In this paper, we develop a state-of-the-art deep learning recommendation model (DLRM) and provide its implementation in both PyTorch and Caffe2 frameworks. In addition, we design a specialized parallelization scheme utilizing model parallelism on the embedding tables to mitigate memory constraints while exploiting data parallelism to scale-out compute from the fully-connected layers. We compare DLRM against existing recommendation models and characterize its performance on the Big Basin AI platform, demonstrating its usefulness as a benchmark for future algorithmic experimentation and system co-design.
The application of deep learning techniques resulted in remarkable improvement of machine learning models. In this paper provides detailed characterizations of deep learning models used in many Facebook social network services. We present computational characteristics of our models, describe high performance optimizations targeting existing systems, point out their limitations and make suggestions for the future general-purpose/accelerated inference hardware. Also, we highlight the need for better co-design of algorithms, numerics and computing platforms to address the challenges of workloads often run in data centers.