Compressing RNNs for IoT devices by 15-38x using Kronecker Products

Urmish Thakker, Jesse Beu, Dibakar Gope, Chu Zhou, Igor Fedorov, Ganesh Dasika, Matthew Mattina

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN) can be difficult to deploy on resource constrained devices due to their size.As a result, there is a need for compression techniques that can significantly compress RNNs without negatively impacting task accuracy. This paper introduces a method to compress RNNs for resource constrained environments using Kronecker product (KP). KPs can compress RNN layers by 15-38x with minimal accuracy loss. By quantizing the resulting models to 8-bits, we further push the compression factor to 50x. We show that KP can beat the task accuracy achieved by other state-of-the-art compression techniques across 5 benchmarks spanning 3 different applications, while simultaneously improving inference run-time. We show that the KP compression mechanism does introduce an accuracy loss, which can be mitigated by a proposed hybrid KP (HKP) approach. Our HKP algorithm provides fine-grained control over the compression ratio, enabling us to regain accuracy lost during compression by adding a small number of model parameters.

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