On-device learning and efficient fine-tuning enable continuous and privacy-preserving customization (e.g., locally fine-tuning large language models on personalized data). However, existing training frameworks are designed for cloud servers with powerful accelerators (e.g., GPUs, TPUs) and lack the optimizations for learning on the edge, which faces challenges of resource limitations and edge hardware diversity. We introduce PockEngine: a tiny, sparse and efficient engine to enable fine-tuning on various edge devices. PockEngine supports sparse backpropagation: it prunes the backward graph and sparsely updates the model with measured memory saving and latency reduction while maintaining the model quality. Secondly, PockEngine is compilation first: the entire training graph (including forward, backward and optimization steps) is derived at compile-time, which reduces the runtime overhead and brings opportunities for graph transformations. PockEngine also integrates a rich set of training graph optimizations, thus can further accelerate the training cost, including operator reordering and backend switching. PockEngine supports diverse applications, frontends and hardware backends: it flexibly compiles and tunes models defined in PyTorch/TensorFlow/Jax and deploys binaries to mobile CPU/GPU/DSPs. We evaluated PockEngine on both vision models and large language models. PockEngine achieves up to 15 $\times$ speedup over off-the-shelf TensorFlow (Raspberry Pi), 5.6 $\times$ memory saving back-propagation (Jetson AGX Orin). Remarkably, PockEngine enables fine-tuning LLaMav2-7B on NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin at 550 tokens/s, 7.9$\times$ faster than the PyTorch.
* 56th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO
Speculative decoding is a pivotal technique to accelerate the inference of large language models (LLMs) by employing a smaller draft model to predict the target model's outputs. However, its efficacy can be limited due to the low predictive accuracy of the draft model, particularly when faced with diverse text inputs and a significant capability gap between the draft and target models. We introduce online speculative decoding (OSD) to address this challenge. The main idea is to continually update (multiple) draft model(s) on observed user query data using the abundant excess computational power in an LLM serving cluster. Given that LLM inference is memory-bounded, the surplus computational power in a typical LLM serving cluster can be repurposed for online retraining of draft models, thereby making the training cost-neutral. Since the query distribution of an LLM service is relatively simple, retraining on query distribution enables the draft model to more accurately predict the target model's outputs, particularly on data originating from query distributions. As the draft model evolves online, it aligns with the query distribution in real time, mitigating distribution shifts. We develop a prototype of online speculative decoding based on online knowledge distillation and evaluate it using both synthetic and real query data on several popular LLMs. The results show a substantial increase in the token acceptance rate by 0.1 to 0.65, which translates into 1.22x to 3.06x latency reduction.