As the accuracy of machine learning models increases at a fast rate, so does their demand for energy and compute resources. On a low level, the major part of these resources is consumed by data movement between different memory units. Modern hardware architectures contain a form of fast memory (e.g., cache, registers), which is small, and a slow memory (e.g., DRAM), which is larger but expensive to access. We can only process data that is stored in fast memory, which incurs data movement (input/output-operations, or I/Os) between the two units. In this paper, we provide a rigorous theoretical analysis of the I/Os needed in sparse feedforward neural network (FFNN) inference. We establish bounds that determine the optimal number of I/Os up to a factor of 2 and present a method that uses a number of I/Os within that range. Much of the I/O-complexity is determined by a few high-level properties of the FFNN (number of inputs, outputs, neurons, and connections), but if we want to get closer to the exact lower bound, the instance-specific sparsity patterns need to be considered. Departing from the 2-optimal computation strategy, we show how to reduce the number of I/Os further with simulated annealing. Complementing this result, we provide an algorithm that constructively generates networks with maximum I/O-efficiency for inference. We test the algorithms and empirically verify our theoretical and algorithmic contributions. In our experiments on real hardware we observe speedups of up to 45$\times$ relative to the standard way of performing inference.
translated by 谷歌翻译