Layer-Parallel Training of Deep Residual Neural Networks [article]

S. Günther, L. Ruthotto, J.B. Schroder, E.C. Cyr, N.R. Gauger
2019 arXiv   pre-print
Residual neural networks (ResNets) are a promising class of deep neural networks that have shown excellent performance for a number of learning tasks, e.g., image classification and recognition. Mathematically, ResNet architectures can be interpreted as forward Euler discretizations of a nonlinear initial value problem whose time-dependent control variables represent the weights of the neural network. Hence, training a ResNet can be cast as an optimal control problem of the associated dynamical
more » ... system. For similar time-dependent optimal control problems arising in engineering applications, parallel-in-time methods have shown notable improvements in scalability. This paper demonstrates the use of those techniques for efficient and effective training of ResNets. The proposed algorithms replace the classical (sequential) forward and backward propagation through the network layers by a parallel nonlinear multigrid iteration applied to the layer domain. This adds a new dimension of parallelism across layers that is attractive when training very deep networks. From this basic idea, we derive multiple layer-parallel methods. The most efficient version employs a simultaneous optimization approach where updates to the network parameters are based on inexact gradient information in order to speed up the training process. Using numerical examples from supervised classification, we demonstrate that the new approach achieves similar training performance to traditional methods, but enables layer-parallelism and thus provides speedup over layer-serial methods through greater concurrency.
arXiv:1812.04352v3 fatcat:lwtg3ko7xvae3dpilndk6i5voq