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Distribution-Aware Adaptive Multi-Bit Quantization
In this paper, we explore the compression of deep neural networks by quantizing the weights and activations into multi-bit binary networks (MBNs). A distribution-aware multi-bit quantization (DMBQ) method that incorporates the distribution prior into the optimization of quantization is proposed. Instead of solving the optimization in each iteration, DMBQ search the optimal quantization scheme over the distribution space beforehand, and select the quantization scheme during training using a fast lookup table based strategy. Based upon DMBQ, we further propose loss-guided bit-width allocation (LBA) to adaptively quantize and even prune the neural network. The first-order Taylor expansion is applied to build a metric for evaluating the loss sensitivity of the quantization of each channel, and automatically adjust the bit-width of weights and activations channel-wisely. We extend our method to image classification tasks and experimental results show that our method not only outperforms state-of-the-art quantized networks in terms of accuracy but also is more efficient in terms of training time compared with state-of-the-art MBNs, even for the extremely low bit width (below 1-bit) quantization cases.