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Hamed Omidvar

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Associative Convolutional Layers

Jun 12, 2019
Hamed Omidvar, Vahideh Akhlaghi, Massimo Franceschetti, Rajesh K. Gupta

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Motivated by the necessity for parameter efficiency in distributed machine learning and AI-enabled edge devices, we provide a general and easy to implement method for significantly reducing the number of parameters of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), during both the training and inference phases. We introduce a simple auxiliary neural network which can generate the convolutional filters of any CNN architecture from a low dimensional latent space. This auxiliary neural network, which we call "Convolutional Slice Generator" (CSG), is unique to the network and provides the association between its convolutional layers. During the training of the CNN, instead of training the filters of the convolutional layers, only the parameters of the CSG and their corresponding `code vectors' are trained. This results in a significant reduction of the number of parameters due to the fact that the CNN can be fully represented using only the parameters of the CSG, the code vectors, the fully connected layers, and the architecture of the CNN. To show the capability of our method, we apply it to ResNet and DenseNet architectures, using the CIFAR-10 dataset without any hyper-parameter tuning. Experiments show that our approach, even when applied to already compressed and efficient CNNs such as DenseNet-BC, significantly reduces the number of network parameters. In two models based on DenseNet-BC with $\approx 2\times$ reduction in one of them we had a slight improvement in accuracy and in another one, with $\approx 2\times$ reduction the change in accuracy is negligible. In case of ResNet-56, $\approx 2.5\times$ reduction leads to an accuracy loss within $1\%$.

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