Low-Rank Compression of Neural Nets: Learning the Rank of Each Layer

CVPR 2020

Authors: Yerlan Idelbayev, Miguel Á. Carreira-Perpiñán Description: Neural net compression can be achieved by approximating each layer's weight matrix by a low-rank matrix. The real difficulty in doing this is not in training the resulting neural net (made up of one low-rank matrix per layer), but in determining what the optimal rank of each layer is—effectively, an architecture search problem with one hyperparameter per layer. We show that, with a suitable formulation, this problem is amenable to a mixed discrete-continuous optimization jointly over the ranks and over the matrix elements, and give a corresponding algorithm. We show that this indeed can select ranks much better than existing approaches, making low-rank compression much more attractive than previously thought. For example, we can make a VGG network faster than a ResNet and with nearly the same classification error.