Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Distributed deep learning on edge-devices

Participants: Corentin Hardy, Gerardo Rubino, Bruno Sericola

A large portion of data mining and analytic services use modern machine learning techniques, such as deep learning. The state-of-the-art results related to deep learning come at the price of an intensive use of computing resources. The leading frameworks (e.g., TensorFlow) are executed on GPUs or on high-end servers in data centers. On the other end, there is a proliferation of personal devices with possibly free CPU cycles; this can enable services to run in users' homes, embedding machine learning operations. In [66] and [43], we ask the following question: Is distributed deep learning computation on WAN connected devices feasible, in spite of the traffic caused by learning tasks? We show that such a setup rises some important challenges, most notably the ingress traffic that the servers hosting the up-to-date model have to sustain. In order to reduce this stress, we propose AdaComp, a novel algorithm for compressing worker updates to the model on the server. Applicable to stochastic gradient descent based approaches, it combines efficient gradient selection and learning rate modulation. We experiment and measure the impact of compression, device heterogeneity and reliability on the accuracy of learned models, with an emulator platform that embeds TensorFlow into Linux containers. We report a reduction of the total amount of data sent by workers to the server by two order of magnitude (e.g., 191-fold reduction for a convolutional network on the MNIST dataset), when compared to a standard asynchronous stochastic gradient descent, while preserving model accuracy. The extension of the AdaComp algorithm to Random Neural Networks started with the introduction of Random Neural Layers, see [65].