MCUNet: computation-efficient inference on device
Abstract: Machine learning on tiny IoT devices based on microcontroller units (MCU) is appealing but challenging: the memory of microcontrollers is 2-3 orders of magnitude smaller even than mobile phones. We propose MCUNet, a framework that jointly designs the efficient neural architecture (TinyNAS) and the lightweight inference engine (TinyEngine), enabling ImageNet-scale inference on microcontrollers. TinyNAS adopts a two-stage neural architecture search approach that first optimizes the search space to fit the resource constraints, then specializes the network architecture in the optimized search space. TinyNAS can automatically handle diverse constraints (i.e.device, latency, energy, memory) under low search costs.TinyNAS is co-designed with TinyEngine, a memory-efficient inference library to expand the search space and fit a larger model. TinyEngine adapts the memory scheduling according to the overall network topology rather than layer-wise optimization, reducing the memory usage by 4.8x, and accelerating the inference by 1.7-3.3x compared to TF-Lite Micro and CMSIS-NN. MCUNet is the first to achieves >70% ImageNet top1 accuracy on an off-the-shelf commercial microcontroller, using 3.5x less SRAM and 5.7x less Flash compared to quantized MobileNetV2 and ResNet-18. On visual&audio wake words tasks, MCUNet achieves state-of-the-art accuracy and runs 2.4-3.4x faster than MobileNetV2 and ProxylessNAS-based solutions with 3.7-4.1x smaller peak SRAM. Our study suggests that the era of always-on tiny machine learning on IoT devices has arrived.
Authors: Ji Lin, Wei-Ming Chen, Yujun Lin, John Cohn, Chuang Gan, Song Han (MIT)
 TinyTL: computation-efficient transfer learning on device
Abstract: On-device learning enables edge devices to continually adapt the AI models to new data, which requires a small memory footprint to fit the tight memory constraint of edge devices. Existing work solves this problem by reducing the number of trainable parameters. However, this doesn't directly translate to memory saving since the major bottleneck is the activations, not parameters. In this work, we present Tiny-Transfer-Learning (TinyTL) for memory-efficient on-device learning. TinyTL freezes the weights while only learns the bias modules, thus no need to store the intermediate activations. To maintain the adaptation capacity, we introduce a new memory-efficient bias module, the lite residual module, to refine the feature extractor by learning small residual feature maps adding only 3.8% memory overhead. Extensive experiments show that TinyTL significantly saves the memory (up to 6.5x) with little accuracy loss compared to fine-tuning the full network. Compared to fine-tuning the last layer, TinyTL provides significant accuracy improvements (up to 34.1%) with little memory overhead. Furthermore, combined with feature extractor adaptation, TinyTL provides 7.3-12.9x memory saving without sacrificing accuracy compared to fine-tuning the full Inception-V3.
Authors: Han Cai, Chuang Gan, Ligeng Zhu, Song Han (MIT)
 DiffAugment: data-efficient GAN training
Abstract: The performance of generative adversarial networks (GANs) heavily deteriorates given a limited amount of training data. This is mainly because the discriminator is memorizing the exact training set. To combat it, we propose Differentiable Augmentation (DiffAugment), a simple method that improves the data efficiency of GANs by imposing various types of differentiable augmentations on both real and fake samples. Previous attempts to directly augment the training data manipulate the distribution of real images, yielding little benefit; DiffAugment enables us to adopt the differentiable augmentation for the generated samples, effectively stabilizes training, and leads to better convergence. Experiments demonstrate consistent gains of our method over a variety of GAN architectures and loss functions for both unconditional and class-conditional generation. With DiffAugment, we achieve a state-of-the-art FID of 6.80 with an IS of 100.8 on ImageNet 128x128 and 2-4x reductions of FID given 1,000 images on FFHQ and LSUN. Furthermore, with only 20% training data, we can match the top performance on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100. Finally, our method can generate high-fidelity images using only 100 images without pre-training, while being on par with existing transfer learning algorithms.
Authors: Shengyu Zhao, Zhijian Liu, Ji Lin, Jun-Yan Zhu, Song Han (MIT)