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Serving LLMs requires substantial memory due to the storage requirements of Key-Value (KV) embeddings in the KV cache, which grows with sequence length. An effective approach to compress KV cache is quantization. However, traditional quantization methods face significant memory overhead due to the need to store quantization constants (at least a zero point and a scale) in full precision per data block. Depending on the block size, this overhead can add 1 or 2 bits per quantized number. We introduce QJL, a new quantization approach that consists of a Johnson-Lindenstrauss (JL) transform followed by sign-bit quantization. In contrast to existing methods, QJL eliminates memory overheads by removing the need for storing quantization constants. We propose an asymmetric estimator for the inner product of two vectors and demonstrate that applying QJL to one vector and a standard JL transform without quantization to the other provides an unbiased estimator with minimal distortion. We have developed an efficient implementation of the QJL sketch and its corresponding inner product estimator, incorporating a lightweight CUDA kernel for optimized computation. When applied across various LLMs and NLP tasks to quantize the KV cache to only 3 bits, QJL demonstrates a more than fivefold reduction in KV cache memory usage without compromising accuracy, all while achieving faster runtime. Codes are available at \url{https://github.com/amirzandieh/QJL}.

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Despite the significant success of large language models (LLMs), their extensive memory requirements pose challenges for deploying them in long-context token generation. The substantial memory footprint of LLM decoders arises from the necessity to store all previous tokens in the attention module, a requirement imposed by key-value (KV) caching. In this work, our focus is on developing an efficient compression technique for the KV cache. Empirical evidence indicates a significant clustering tendency within key embeddings in the attention module. Building on this key insight, we have devised a novel caching method with sublinear complexity, employing online clustering on key tokens and online $\ell_2$ sampling on values. The result is a provably accurate and efficient attention decoding algorithm, termed SubGen. Not only does this algorithm ensure a sublinear memory footprint and sublinear time complexity, but we also establish a tight error bound for our approach. Empirical evaluations on long-context question-answering tasks demonstrate that SubGen significantly outperforms existing and state-of-the-art KV cache compression methods in terms of performance and efficiency.

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We present an approximate attention mechanism named HyperAttention to address the computational challenges posed by the growing complexity of long contexts used in Large Language Models (LLMs). Recent work suggests that in the worst-case scenario, quadratic time is necessary unless the entries of the attention matrix are bounded or the matrix has low stable rank. We introduce two parameters which measure: (1) the max column norm in the normalized attention matrix, and (2) the ratio of row norms in the unnormalized attention matrix after detecting and removing large entries. We use these fine-grained parameters to capture the hardness of the problem. Despite previous lower bounds, we are able to achieve a linear time sampling algorithm even when the matrix has unbounded entries or a large stable rank, provided the above parameters are small. HyperAttention features a modular design that easily accommodates integration of other fast low-level implementations, particularly FlashAttention. Empirically, employing Locality Sensitive Hashing (LSH) to identify large entries, HyperAttention outperforms existing methods, giving significant speed improvements compared to state-of-the-art solutions like FlashAttention. We validate the empirical performance of HyperAttention on a variety of different long-context length datasets. For example, HyperAttention makes the inference time of ChatGLM2 50\% faster on 32k context length while perplexity increases from 5.6 to 6.3. On larger context length, e.g., 131k, with causal masking, HyperAttention offers 5-fold speedup on a single attention layer.

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Dot-product attention mechanism plays a crucial role in modern deep architectures (e.g., Transformer) for sequence modeling, however, na\"ive exact computation of this model incurs quadratic time and memory complexities in sequence length, hindering the training of long-sequence models. Critical bottlenecks are due to the computation of partition functions in the denominator of softmax function as well as the multiplication of the softmax matrix with the matrix of values. Our key observation is that the former can be reduced to a variant of the kernel density estimation (KDE) problem, and an efficient KDE solver can be further utilized to accelerate the latter via subsampling-based fast matrix products. Our proposed KDEformer can approximate the attention in sub-quadratic time with provable spectral norm bounds, while all prior results merely provide entry-wise error bounds. Empirically, we verify that KDEformer outperforms other attention approximations in terms of accuracy, memory, and runtime on various pre-trained models. On BigGAN image generation, we achieve better generative scores than the exact computation with over $4\times$ speedup. For ImageNet classification with T2T-ViT, KDEformer shows over $18\times$ speedup while the accuracy drop is less than $0.5\%$.

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Infinite width limit has shed light on generalization and optimization aspects of deep learning by establishing connections between neural networks and kernel methods. Despite their importance, the utility of these kernel methods was limited in large-scale learning settings due to their (super-)quadratic runtime and memory complexities. Moreover, most prior works on neural kernels have focused on the ReLU activation, mainly due to its popularity but also due to the difficulty of computing such kernels for general activations. In this work, we overcome such difficulties by providing methods to work with general activations. First, we compile and expand the list of activation functions admitting exact dual activation expressions to compute neural kernels. When the exact computation is unknown, we present methods to effectively approximate them. We propose a fast sketching method that approximates any multi-layered Neural Network Gaussian Process (NNGP) kernel and Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) matrices for a wide range of activation functions, going beyond the commonly analyzed ReLU activation. This is done by showing how to approximate the neural kernels using the truncated Hermite expansion of any desired activation functions. While most prior works require data points on the unit sphere, our methods do not suffer from such limitations and are applicable to any dataset of points in $\mathbb{R}^d$. Furthermore, we provide a subspace embedding for NNGP and NTK matrices with near input-sparsity runtime and near-optimal target dimension which applies to any \emph{homogeneous} dual activation functions with rapidly convergent Taylor expansion. Empirically, with respect to exact convolutional NTK (CNTK) computation, our method achieves $106\times$ speedup for approximate CNTK of a 5-layer Myrtle network on CIFAR-10 dataset.

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A determinantal point process (DPP) is an elegant model that assigns a probability to every subset of a collection of $n$ items. While conventionally a DPP is parameterized by a symmetric kernel matrix, removing this symmetry constraint, resulting in nonsymmetric DPPs (NDPPs), leads to significant improvements in modeling power and predictive performance. Recent work has studied an approximate Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling algorithm for NDPPs restricted to size-$k$ subsets (called $k$-NDPPs). However, the runtime of this approach is quadratic in $n$, making it infeasible for large-scale settings. In this work, we develop a scalable MCMC sampling algorithm for $k$-NDPPs with low-rank kernels, thus enabling runtime that is sublinear in $n$. Our method is based on a state-of-the-art NDPP rejection sampling algorithm, which we enhance with a novel approach for efficiently constructing the proposal distribution. Furthermore, we extend our scalable $k$-NDPP sampling algorithm to NDPPs without size constraints. Our resulting sampling method has polynomial time complexity in the rank of the kernel, while the existing approach has runtime that is exponential in the rank. With both a theoretical analysis and experiments on real-world datasets, we verify that our scalable approximate sampling algorithms are orders of magnitude faster than existing sampling approaches for $k$-NDPPs and NDPPs.

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We propose an algorithm for robust recovery of the spherical harmonic expansion of functions defined on the d-dimensional unit sphere $\mathbb{S}^{d-1}$ using a near-optimal number of function evaluations. We show that for any $f \in L^2(\mathbb{S}^{d-1})$, the number of evaluations of $f$ needed to recover its degree-$q$ spherical harmonic expansion equals the dimension of the space of spherical harmonics of degree at most $q$ up to a logarithmic factor. Moreover, we develop a simple yet efficient algorithm to recover degree-$q$ expansion of $f$ by only evaluating the function on uniformly sampled points on $\mathbb{S}^{d-1}$. Our algorithm is based on the connections between spherical harmonics and Gegenbauer polynomials and leverage score sampling methods. Unlike the prior results on fast spherical harmonic transform, our proposed algorithm works efficiently using a nearly optimal number of samples in any dimension d. We further illustrate the empirical performance of our algorithm on numerical examples.

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We propose efficient random features for approximating a new and rich class of kernel functions that we refer to as Generalized Zonal Kernels (GZK). Our proposed GZK family, generalizes the zonal kernels (i.e., dot-product kernels on the unit sphere) by introducing radial factors in their Gegenbauer series expansion, and includes a wide range of ubiquitous kernel functions such as the entirety of dot-product kernels as well as the Gaussian and the recently introduced Neural Tangent kernels. Interestingly, by exploiting the reproducing property of the Gegenbauer polynomials, we can construct efficient random features for the GZK family based on randomly oriented Gegenbauer kernels. We prove subspace embedding guarantees for our Gegenbauer features which ensures that our features can be used for approximately solving learning problems such as kernel k-means clustering, kernel ridge regression, etc. Empirical results show that our proposed features outperform recent kernel approximation methods.

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A determinantal point process (DPP) on a collection of $M$ items is a model, parameterized by a symmetric kernel matrix, that assigns a probability to every subset of those items. Recent work shows that removing the kernel symmetry constraint, yielding nonsymmetric DPPs (NDPPs), can lead to significant predictive performance gains for machine learning applications. However, existing work leaves open the question of scalable NDPP sampling. There is only one known DPP sampling algorithm, based on Cholesky decomposition, that can directly apply to NDPPs as well. Unfortunately, its runtime is cubic in $M$, and thus does not scale to large item collections. In this work, we first note that this algorithm can be transformed into a linear-time one for kernels with low-rank structure. Furthermore, we develop a scalable sublinear-time rejection sampling algorithm by constructing a novel proposal distribution. Additionally, we show that imposing certain structural constraints on the NDPP kernel enables us to bound the rejection rate in a way that depends only on the kernel rank. In our experiments we compare the speed of all of these samplers for a variety of real-world tasks.

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The Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) characterizes the behavior of infinitely-wide neural networks trained under least squares loss by gradient descent. Recent works also report that NTK regression can outperform finitely-wide neural networks trained on small-scale datasets. However, the computational complexity of kernel methods has limited its use in large-scale learning tasks. To accelerate learning with NTK, we design a near input-sparsity time approximation algorithm for NTK, by sketching the polynomial expansions of arc-cosine kernels: our sketch for the convolutional counterpart of NTK (CNTK) can transform any image using a linear runtime in the number of pixels. Furthermore, we prove a spectral approximation guarantee for the NTK matrix, by combining random features (based on leverage score sampling) of the arc-cosine kernels with a sketching algorithm. We benchmark our methods on various large-scale regression and classification tasks and show that a linear regressor trained on our CNTK features matches the accuracy of exact CNTK on CIFAR-10 dataset while achieving 150x speedup.

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