Large Scale Optimization

Moderator: Praneeth Netrapalli


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Tue 20 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT
ActNN: Reducing Training Memory Footprint via 2-Bit Activation Compressed Training

Jianfei Chen · Lianmin Zheng · Zhewei Yao · Dequan Wang · Ion Stoica · Michael Mahoney · Joseph E Gonzalez

The increasing size of neural network models has been critical for improvements in their accuracy, but device memory is not growing at the same rate. This creates fundamental challenges for training neural networks within limited memory environments. In this work, we propose ActNN, a memory-efficient training framework that stores randomly quantized activations for back propagation. We prove the convergence of ActNN for general network architectures, and we characterize the impact of quantization on the convergence via an exact expression for the gradient variance. Using our theory, we propose novel mixed-precision quantization strategies that exploit the activation's heterogeneity across feature dimensions, samples, and layers. These techniques can be readily applied to existing dynamic graph frameworks, such as PyTorch, simply by substituting the layers. We evaluate ActNN on mainstream computer vision models for classification, detection, and segmentation tasks. On all these tasks, ActNN compresses the activation to 2 bits on average, with negligible accuracy loss. ActNN reduces the memory footprint of the activation by 12x, and it enables training with a 6.6x to 14x larger batch size.

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Tue 20 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT
Householder Sketch for Accurate and Accelerated Least-Mean-Squares Solvers

Jyotikrishna Dass · Rabi Mahapatra

Least-Mean-Squares (\textsc{LMS}) solvers comprise a class of fundamental optimization problems such as linear regression, and regularized regressions such as Ridge, LASSO, and Elastic-Net. Data summarization techniques for big data generate summaries called coresets and sketches to speed up model learning under streaming and distributed settings. For example, \citep{nips2019} design a fast and accurate Caratheodory set on input data to boost the performance of existing \textsc{LMS} solvers. In retrospect, we explore classical Householder transformation as a candidate for sketching and accurately solving LMS problems. We find it to be a simpler, memory-efficient, and faster alternative that always existed to the above strong baseline. We also present a scalable algorithm based on the construction of distributed Householder sketches to solve \textsc{LMS} problem across multiple worker nodes. We perform thorough empirical analysis with large synthetic and real datasets to evaluate the performance of Householder sketch and compare with \citep{nips2019}. Our results show Householder sketch speeds up existing \textsc{LMS} solvers in the scikit-learn library up to $100$x-$400$x. Also, it is $10$x-$100$x faster than the above baseline with similar numerical stability. The distributed algorithm demonstrates linear scalability with a near-negligible communication overhead.

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Tue 20 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT
Accumulated Decoupled Learning with Gradient Staleness Mitigation for Convolutional Neural Networks

Huiping Zhuang · Zhenyu Weng · Fulin Luo · Kar-Ann Toh · Haizhou Li · Zhiping Lin

Gradient staleness is a major side effect in decoupled learning when training convolutional neural networks asynchronously. Existing methods that ignore this effect might result in reduced generalization and even divergence. In this paper, we propose an accumulated decoupled learning (ADL), which includes a module-wise gradient accumulation in order to mitigate the gradient staleness. Unlike prior arts ignoring the gradient staleness, we quantify the staleness in such a way that its mitigation can be quantitatively visualized. As a new learning scheme, the proposed ADL is theoretically shown to converge to critical points in spite of its asynchronism. Extensive experiments on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet datasets are conducted, demonstrating that ADL gives promising generalization results while the state-of-the-art methods experience reduced generalization and divergence. In addition, our ADL is shown to have the fastest training speed among the compared methods.

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Tue 20 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT
Training Graph Neural Networks with 1000 Layers

Guohao Li · Matthias Müller · Bernard Ghanem · Vladlen Koltun

Deep graph neural networks (GNNs) have achieved excellent results on various tasks on increasingly large graph datasets with millions of nodes and edges. However, memory complexity has become a major obstacle when training deep GNNs for practical applications due to the immense number of nodes, edges, and intermediate activations. To improve the scalability of GNNs, prior works propose smart graph sampling or partitioning strategies to train GNNs with a smaller set of nodes or sub-graphs. In this work, we study reversible connections, group convolutions, weight tying, and equilibrium models to advance the memory and parameter efficiency of GNNs. We find that reversible connections in combination with deep network architectures enable the training of overparameterized GNNs that significantly outperform existing methods on multiple datasets. Our models RevGNN-Deep (1001 layers with 80 channels each) and RevGNN-Wide (448 layers with 224 channels each) were both trained on a single commodity GPU and achieve an ROC-AUC of 87.74 ± 0.13 and 88.14 ± 0.15 on the ogbn-proteins dataset. To the best of our knowledge, RevGNN-Deep is the deepest GNN in the literature by one order of magnitude.

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Tue 20 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT
1-bit Adam: Communication Efficient Large-Scale Training with Adam's Convergence Speed

Hanlin Tang · Shaoduo Gan · Ammar Ahmad Awan · Samyam Rajbhandari · Conglong Li · Xiangru Lian · Ji Liu · Ce Zhang · Yuxiong He

Scalable training of large models (like BERT and GPT-3) requires careful optimization rooted in model design, architecture, and system capabilities. From a system standpoint, communication has become a major bottleneck, especially on commodity systems with standard TCP interconnects that offer limited network bandwidth. Communication compression is an important technique to reduce training time on such systems. One of the most effective ways to compress communication is via error compensation compression, which offers robust convergence speed, even under 1-bit compression. However, state-of-the-art error compensation techniques only work with basic optimizers like SGD and momentum SGD, which are linearly dependent on the gradients. They do not work with non-linear gradient-based optimizers like Adam, which offer state-of-the-art convergence efficiency and accuracy for models like BERT. In this paper, we propose 1-bit Adam that reduces the communication volume by up to 5x, offers much better scalability, and provides the same convergence speed as uncompressed Adam. Our key finding is that Adam's variance becomes stable (after a warmup phase) and can be used as a fixed precondition for the rest of the training (compression phase). We performed experiments on up to 256 GPUs and show that 1-bit Adam enables up to 3.3x higher throughput for BERT-Large pre-training and up to 2.9x higher throughput for SQuAD fine-tuning. In addition, we provide theoretical analysis for 1-bit Adam.

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Tue 20 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT
Federated Deep AUC Maximization for Hetergeneous Data with a Constant Communication Complexity

Zhuoning Yuan · Zhishuai Guo · Yi Xu · Yiming Ying · Tianbao Yang

Deep AUC (area under the ROC curve) Maximization (DAM) has attracted much attention recently due to its great potential for imbalanced data classification. However, the research on Federated Deep AUC Maximization (FDAM) is still limited. Compared with standard federated learning (FL) approaches that focus on decomposable minimization objectives, FDAM is more complicated due to its minimization objective is non-decomposable over individual examples. In this paper, we propose improved FDAM algorithms for heterogeneous data by solving the popular non-convex strongly-concave min-max formulation of DAM in a distributed fashion, which can also be applied to a class of non-convex strongly-concave min-max problems. A striking result of this paper is that the communication complexity of the proposed algorithm is a constant independent of the number of machines and also independent of the accuracy level, which improves an existing result by orders of magnitude. The experiments have demonstrated the effectiveness of our FDAM algorithm on benchmark datasets, and on medical chest X-ray images from different organizations. Our experiment shows that the performance of FDAM using data from multiple hospitals can improve the AUC score on testing data from a single hospital for detecting life-threatening diseases based on chest radiographs.

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Tue 20 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT
Ditto: Fair and Robust Federated Learning Through Personalization

Tian Li · Shengyuan Hu · Ahmad Beirami · Virginia Smith

Fairness and robustness are two important concerns for federated learning systems. In this work, we identify that robustness to data and model poisoning attacks and fairness, measured as the uniformity of performance across devices, are competing constraints in statistically heterogeneous networks. To address these constraints, we propose employing a simple, general framework for personalized federated learning, Ditto, that can inherently provide fairness and robustness benefits, and develop a scalable solver for it. Theoretically, we analyze the ability of Ditto to achieve fairness and robustness simultaneously on a class of linear problems. Empirically, across a suite of federated datasets, we show that Ditto not only achieves competitive performance relative to recent personalization methods, but also enables more accurate, robust, and fair models relative to state-of-the-art fair or robust baselines.

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Tue 20 July 19:50 - 19:55 PDT