Compact and Optimal Deep Learning with Recurrent Parameter Generators

Jiayun Wang      Yubei Chen      Stella X. Yu      Brian Cheung      Yann LeCun     
WACV 2023


Deep learning has achieved tremendous success by training increasingly large models, which are then compressed for practical deployment. We propose a drastically different approach to compact and optimal deep learning: We decouple the Degrees of freedom (DoF) and the actual number of parameters of a model, optimize a small DoF with predefined random linear constraints for a large model of arbitrary architecture, in one-stage end-to-end learning. Specifically, we create a recurrent parameter generator (RPG), which repeatedly fetches parameters from a ring and unpacks them onto a large model with random permutation and sign flipping to promote parameter decorrelation. We show that gradient descent can automatically find the best model under constraints with faster convergence. Our extensive experimentation reveals a log-linear relationship between model DoF and accuracy. Our RPG demonstrates remarkable DoF reduction and can be further pruned and quantized for additional run-time performance gain. For example, in terms of top-1 accuracy on ImageNet, RPG achieves 96% of ResNet18's performance with only 18% DoF (the equivalent of one convolutional layer) and 52% of ResNet34's performance with only 0.25% DoF! Our work shows a significant potential of constrained neural optimization in compact and optimal deep learning.

Public Video



  title={Compact and Optimal Deep Learning with Recurrent Parameter Generators},
  author={Wang, Jiayun and Chen, Yubei and Yu, Stella X and Cheung, Brian and LeCun, Yann},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:2107.07110},