S3NAS: Fast NPU-aware Neural Architecture Search Methodology [article]

Jaeseong Lee, Duseok Kang, Soonhoi Ha
2020 arXiv   pre-print
As the application area of convolutional neural networks (CNN) is growing in embedded devices, it becomes popular to use a hardware CNN accelerator, called neural processing unit (NPU), to achieve higher performance per watt than CPUs or GPUs. Recently, automated neural architecture search (NAS) emerges as the default technique to find a state-of-the-art CNN architecture with higher accuracy than manually-designed architectures for image classification. In this paper, we present a fast
more » ... NAS methodology, called S3NAS, to find a CNN architecture with higher accuracy than the existing ones under a given latency constraint. It consists of three steps: supernet design, Single-Path NAS for fast architecture exploration, and scaling. To widen the search space of the supernet structure that consists of stages, we allow stages to have a different number of blocks and blocks to have parallel layers of different kernel sizes. For a fast neural architecture search, we apply a modified Single-Path NAS technique to the proposed supernet structure. In this step, we assume a shorter latency constraint than the required to reduce the search space and the search time. The last step is to scale up the network maximally within the latency constraint. For accurate latency estimation, an analytical latency estimator is devised, based on a cycle-level NPU simulator that runs an entire CNN considering the memory access overhead accurately. With the proposed methodology, we are able to find a network in 3 hours using TPUv3, which shows 82.72% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet with 11.66 ms latency. Code are released at https://github.com/cap-lab/S3NAS
arXiv:2009.02009v1 fatcat:lfhojdc3nbhwtpxefycax4y5ea