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Yi Li

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Combined Scheduling, Memory Allocation and Tensor Replacement for Minimizing Off-Chip Data Accesses of DNN Accelerators

Nov 30, 2023
Yi Li, Aarti Gupta, Sharad Malik

Specialized hardware accelerators have been extensively used for Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) to provide power/performance benefits. These accelerators contain specialized hardware that supports DNN operators, and scratchpad memory for storing the tensor operands. Often, the size of the scratchpad is insufficient to store all the tensors needed for the computation, and additional data accesses are needed to move tensors back and forth from host memory during the computation with significant power/performance overhead. The volume of these additional data accesses depends on the operator schedule, and memory allocation (specific locations selected for the tensors in the scratchpad). We propose an optimization framework, named COSMA, for mapping DNNs to an accelerator that finds the optimal operator schedule, memory allocation and tensor replacement that minimizes the additional data accesses. COSMA provides an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) formulation to generate the optimal solution for mapping a DNN to the accelerator for a given scratchpad size. We demonstrate that, using an off-the-shelf ILP solver, COSMA obtains the optimal solution in seconds for a wide-range of state-of-the-art DNNs for different applications. Further, it out-performs existing methods by reducing on average 84% of the non-compulsory data accesses. We further propose a divide-and-conquer heuristic to scale up to certain complex DNNs generated by Neural Architecture Search, and this heuristic solution reduces on average 85% data accesses compared with other works.

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Pruning random resistive memory for optimizing analogue AI

Nov 13, 2023
Yi Li, Songqi Wang, Yaping Zhao, Shaocong Wang, Woyu Zhang, Yangu He, Ning Lin, Binbin Cui, Xi Chen, Shiming Zhang, Hao Jiang, Peng Lin, Xumeng Zhang, Xiaojuan Qi, Zhongrui Wang, Xiaoxin Xu, Dashan Shang, Qi Liu, Kwang-Ting Cheng, Ming Liu

The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has been marked by the large language models exhibiting human-like intelligence. However, these models also present unprecedented challenges to energy consumption and environmental sustainability. One promising solution is to revisit analogue computing, a technique that predates digital computing and exploits emerging analogue electronic devices, such as resistive memory, which features in-memory computing, high scalability, and nonvolatility. However, analogue computing still faces the same challenges as before: programming nonidealities and expensive programming due to the underlying devices physics. Here, we report a universal solution, software-hardware co-design using structural plasticity-inspired edge pruning to optimize the topology of a randomly weighted analogue resistive memory neural network. Software-wise, the topology of a randomly weighted neural network is optimized by pruning connections rather than precisely tuning resistive memory weights. Hardware-wise, we reveal the physical origin of the programming stochasticity using transmission electron microscopy, which is leveraged for large-scale and low-cost implementation of an overparameterized random neural network containing high-performance sub-networks. We implemented the co-design on a 40nm 256K resistive memory macro, observing 17.3% and 19.9% accuracy improvements in image and audio classification on FashionMNIST and Spoken digits datasets, as well as 9.8% (2%) improvement in PR (ROC) in image segmentation on DRIVE datasets, respectively. This is accompanied by 82.1%, 51.2%, and 99.8% improvement in energy efficiency thanks to analogue in-memory computing. By embracing the intrinsic stochasticity and in-memory computing, this work may solve the biggest obstacle of analogue computing systems and thus unleash their immense potential for next-generation AI hardware.

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On the Opportunities of Green Computing: A Survey

Nov 09, 2023
You Zhou, Xiujing Lin, Xiang Zhang, Maolin Wang, Gangwei Jiang, Huakang Lu, Yupeng Wu, Kai Zhang, Zhe Yang, Kehang Wang, Yongduo Sui, Fengwei Jia, Zuoli Tang, Yao Zhao, Hongxuan Zhang, Tiannuo Yang, Weibo Chen, Yunong Mao, Yi Li, De Bao, Yu Li, Hongrui Liao, Ting Liu, Jingwen Liu, Jinchi Guo, Xiangyu Zhao, Ying WEI, Hong Qian, Qi Liu, Xiang Wang, Wai Kin, Chan, Chenliang Li, Yusen Li, Shiyu Yang, Jining Yan, Chao Mou, Shuai Han, Wuxia Jin, Guannan Zhang, Xiaodong Zeng

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has achieved significant advancements in technology and research with the development over several decades, and is widely used in many areas including computing vision, natural language processing, time-series analysis, speech synthesis, etc. During the age of deep learning, especially with the arise of Large Language Models, a large majority of researchers' attention is paid on pursuing new state-of-the-art (SOTA) results, resulting in ever increasing of model size and computational complexity. The needs for high computing power brings higher carbon emission and undermines research fairness by preventing small or medium-sized research institutions and companies with limited funding in participating in research. To tackle the challenges of computing resources and environmental impact of AI, Green Computing has become a hot research topic. In this survey, we give a systematic overview of the technologies used in Green Computing. We propose the framework of Green Computing and devide it into four key components: (1) Measures of Greenness, (2) Energy-Efficient AI, (3) Energy-Efficient Computing Systems and (4) AI Use Cases for Sustainability. For each components, we discuss the research progress made and the commonly used techniques to optimize the AI efficiency. We conclude that this new research direction has the potential to address the conflicts between resource constraints and AI development. We encourage more researchers to put attention on this direction and make AI more environmental friendly.

* 113 pages, 18 figures 
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STOW: Discrete-Frame Segmentation and Tracking of Unseen Objects for Warehouse Picking Robots

Nov 04, 2023
Yi Li, Muru Zhang, Markus Grotz, Kaichun Mo, Dieter Fox

Segmentation and tracking of unseen object instances in discrete frames pose a significant challenge in dynamic industrial robotic contexts, such as distribution warehouses. Here, robots must handle object rearrangement, including shifting, removal, and partial occlusion by new items, and track these items after substantial temporal gaps. The task is further complicated when robots encounter objects not learned in their training sets, which requires the ability to segment and track previously unseen items. Considering that continuous observation is often inaccessible in such settings, our task involves working with a discrete set of frames separated by indefinite periods during which substantial changes to the scene may occur. This task also translates to domestic robotic applications, such as rearrangement of objects on a table. To address these demanding challenges, we introduce new synthetic and real-world datasets that replicate these industrial and household scenarios. We also propose a novel paradigm for joint segmentation and tracking in discrete frames along with a transformer module that facilitates efficient inter-frame communication. The experiments we conduct show that our approach significantly outperforms recent methods. For additional results and videos, please visit \href{}{website}. Code and dataset will be released.

* CoRL 2023, project page: 
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Kernel Cox partially linear regression: building predictive models for cancer patients' survival

Oct 11, 2023
Yaohua Rong, Sihai Dave Zhao, Xia Zheng, Yi Li

Wide heterogeneity exists in cancer patients' survival, ranging from a few months to several decades. To accurately predict clinical outcomes, it is vital to build an accurate predictive model that relates patients' molecular profiles with patients' survival. With complex relationships between survival and high-dimensional molecular predictors, it is challenging to conduct non-parametric modeling and irrelevant predictors removing simultaneously. In this paper, we build a kernel Cox proportional hazards semi-parametric model and propose a novel regularized garrotized kernel machine (RegGKM) method to fit the model. We use the kernel machine method to describe the complex relationship between survival and predictors, while automatically removing irrelevant parametric and non-parametric predictors through a LASSO penalty. An efficient high-dimensional algorithm is developed for the proposed method. Comparison with other competing methods in simulation shows that the proposed method always has better predictive accuracy. We apply this method to analyze a multiple myeloma dataset and predict patients' death burden based on their gene expressions. Our results can help classify patients into groups with different death risks, facilitating treatment for better clinical outcomes.

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CityFM: City Foundation Models to Solve Urban Challenges

Oct 01, 2023
Pasquale Balsebre, Weiming Huang, Gao Cong, Yi Li

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Pre-trained Foundation Models (PFMs) have ushered in a paradigm-shift in Artificial Intelligence, due to their ability to learn general-purpose representations that can be readily employed in a wide range of downstream tasks. While PFMs have been successfully adopted in various fields such as Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision, their capacity in handling geospatial data and answering urban questions remains limited. This can be attributed to the intrinsic heterogeneity of geospatial data, which encompasses different data types, including points, segments and regions, as well as multiple information modalities, such as a spatial position, visual characteristics and textual annotations. The proliferation of Volunteered Geographic Information initiatives, and the ever-increasing availability of open geospatial data sources, like OpenStreetMap, which is freely accessible globally, unveil a promising opportunity to bridge this gap. In this paper, we present CityFM, a self-supervised framework to train a foundation model within a selected geographical area of interest, such as a city. CityFM relies solely on open data from OSM, and produces multimodal representations of entities of different types, incorporating spatial, visual, and textual information. We analyse the entity representations generated using our foundation models from a qualitative perspective, and conduct quantitative experiments on road, building, and region-level downstream tasks. We compare its results to algorithms tailored specifically for the respective applications. In all the experiments, CityFM achieves performance superior to, or on par with, the baselines.

* Under submission 
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Prefix-diffusion: A Lightweight Diffusion Model for Diverse Image Captioning

Sep 10, 2023
Guisheng Liu, Yi Li, Zhengcong Fei, Haiyan Fu, Xiangyang Luo, Yanqing Guo

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While impressive performance has been achieved in image captioning, the limited diversity of the generated captions and the large parameter scale remain major barriers to the real-word application of these systems. In this work, we propose a lightweight image captioning network in combination with continuous diffusion, called Prefix-diffusion. To achieve diversity, we design an efficient method that injects prefix image embeddings into the denoising process of the diffusion model. In order to reduce trainable parameters, we employ a pre-trained model to extract image features and further design an extra mapping network. Prefix-diffusion is able to generate diverse captions with relatively less parameters, while maintaining the fluency and relevance of the captions benefiting from the generative capabilities of the diffusion model. Our work paves the way for scaling up diffusion models for image captioning, and achieves promising performance compared with recent approaches.

* 11 pages,4 figures, 6 tables 
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CLIPN for Zero-Shot OOD Detection: Teaching CLIP to Say No

Aug 24, 2023
Hualiang Wang, Yi Li, Huifeng Yao, Xiaomeng Li

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Out-of-distribution (OOD) detection refers to training the model on an in-distribution (ID) dataset to classify whether the input images come from unknown classes. Considerable effort has been invested in designing various OOD detection methods based on either convolutional neural networks or transformers. However, zero-shot OOD detection methods driven by CLIP, which only require class names for ID, have received less attention. This paper presents a novel method, namely CLIP saying no (CLIPN), which empowers the logic of saying no within CLIP. Our key motivation is to equip CLIP with the capability of distinguishing OOD and ID samples using positive-semantic prompts and negation-semantic prompts. Specifically, we design a novel learnable no prompt and a no text encoder to capture negation semantics within images. Subsequently, we introduce two loss functions: the image-text binary-opposite loss and the text semantic-opposite loss, which we use to teach CLIPN to associate images with no prompts, thereby enabling it to identify unknown samples. Furthermore, we propose two threshold-free inference algorithms to perform OOD detection by utilizing negation semantics from no prompts and the text encoder. Experimental results on 9 benchmark datasets (3 ID datasets and 6 OOD datasets) for the OOD detection task demonstrate that CLIPN, based on ViT-B-16, outperforms 7 well-used algorithms by at least 2.34% and 11.64% in terms of AUROC and FPR95 for zero-shot OOD detection on ImageNet-1K. Our CLIPN can serve as a solid foundation for effectively leveraging CLIP in downstream OOD tasks. The code is available on

* ICCV 2023 
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