Abstract: Quantization is one of the key techniques used to make Neural Networks (NNs) faster and more energy efficient. However, current low precision quantization algorithms often have the hidden cost of conversion back and forth from floating point to quantized integer values. This hidden cost limits the latency improvement realized by quantizing NNs. To address this, we present HAWQV3, a novel dyadic quantization framework. The contributions of HAWQV3 are the following. (i) The entire inference process consists of only integer multiplication, addition, and bit shifting in INT4/8 mixed precision, without any floating point operations/casting or even integer division. (ii) We pose the mixed-precision quantization as an integer linear programming problem, where the bit precision setting is computed to minimize model perturbation, while observing application specific constraints on memory footprint, latency, and BOPS. (iii) To verify our approach, we develop the first open source 4-bit mixed-precision quantization in TVM, and we directly deploy the quantized models to T4 GPUs using only the Turing Tensor Cores. We observe an average speed up of 1.45× for uniform 4-bit, as compared to uniform 8-bit, precision for ResNet50. (iv) We extensively test the proposed dyadic quantization approach on multiple different NNs, including ResNet18/50 and InceptionV3, for various model compression levels with/without mixed precision. For instance, we achieve an accuracy of 78.50% with dyadic INT8 quantization, which is more than 4% higher than prior integer-only work for InceptionV3. Furthermore, we show that mixed-precision INT4/8 quantization can be used to achieve higher speed ups, as compared to INT8 inference, with minimal impact on accuracy. For example, for ResNet50 we can reduce INT8 latency by 23% with mixed precision and still achieve 76.73% accuracy.
Authors: Zhewei Yao, Zhen Dong, Zhangcheng Zheng, Amir Gholami, Jiali Yu, Eric Tan, Leyuan Wang, Qijing Huang, Yida Wang, Michael W. Mahoney, Kurt Keutzer (University of California, Berkeley, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Amazon)