Proximal Mean-Field for Neural Network Quantization

Thalaiyasingam Ajanthan, Puneet K. Dokania, Richard Hartley, Philip H. S. Torr; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 4871-4880


Compressing large Neural Networks (NN) by quantizing the parameters, while maintaining the performance is highly desirable due to reduced memory and time complexity. In this work, we cast NN quantization as a discrete labelling problem, and by examining relaxations, we design an efficient iterative optimization procedure that involves stochastic gradient descent followed by a projection. We prove that our simple projected gradient descent approach is, in fact, equivalent to a proximal version of the well-known mean-field method. These findings would allow the decades-old and theoretically grounded research on MRF optimization to be used to design better network quantization schemes. Our experiments on standard classification datasets (MNIST, CIFAR10/100, TinyImageNet) with convolutional and residual architectures show that our algorithm obtains fully-quantized networks with accuracies very close to the floating-point reference networks.

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author = {Ajanthan, Thalaiyasingam and Dokania, Puneet K. and Hartley, Richard and Torr, Philip H. S.},
title = {Proximal Mean-Field for Neural Network Quantization},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}