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Get the Random Number on the fly: A Low-Precision DNN Training Framework using Stochastic Rounding without the Random Number Generator
Geng Yuan · Sung-En Chang · Alec Lu · Jun Liu · Yanyu Li · Yushu Wu · Zhenglun Kong · Yanyue Xie · Peiyan Dong · Minghai Qin · Xiaolong Ma · Zhenman Fang · Yanzhi Wang

Sat Jul 23 12:00 PM (PDT) @

Stochastic rounding is a critical technique used in low-precision deep neural networks (DNNs) training to ensure good model accuracy. However, it requires a large number of random numbers generated on the fly. This is not a trivial task on the hardware platforms such as FPGA and ASIC.The widely used solution is to introduce random number generators with extra hardware costs. In this paper, we innovatively propose to employ the stochastic property of DNN training process itself and directly extract random numbers from DNNs in a self-sufficient manner. We propose different methods to obtain random numbers from different sources in neural networks and a generator-free framework is proposed for low-precision DNN training on a variety of deep learning tasks. Moreover, we evaluate the quality of the extracted random numbers and find that high-quality random numbers widely exist in DNNs, while their quality can even pass the NIST test suite.

Author Information

Geng Yuan (Northeastern University)
Sung-En Chang (Northeastern University)
Alec Lu (Simon Fraser University )
Jun Liu (Carnegie Mellon University)
Yanyu Li (Northeastern University)
Yushu Wu (Northeastern University)
Zhenglun Kong (Northeastern University)
Yanyue Xie (Northeastern University)
Peiyan Dong (Northeastern University)
Minghai Qin (Western Digital Research)
Xiaolong Ma (Northeastern University)
Zhenman Fang (Simon Fraser University)
Yanzhi Wang (Northeastern University)

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