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.
Accessible machine learning algorithms, software, and diagnostic tools for energy-efficient devices and systems are extremely valuable across a broad range of application domains. In scientific domains, real-time near-sensor processing can drastically improve experimental design and accelerate scientific discoveries. To support domain scientists, we have developed hls4ml, an open-source software-hardware codesign workflow to interpret and translate machine learning algorithms for implementation with both FPGA and ASIC technologies. We expand on previous hls4ml work by extending capabilities and techniques towards low-power implementations and increased usability: new Python APIs, quantization-aware pruning, end-to-end FPGA workflows, long pipeline kernels for low power, and new device backends include an ASIC workflow. Taken together, these and continued efforts in hls4ml will arm a new generation of domain scientists with accessible, efficient, and powerful tools for machine-learning-accelerated discovery.
* 10 pages, 8 figures, TinyML Research Symposium 2021