Theses & Reports
Detecting Dead Weights and Units in Neural Networks
Title: Detecting Dead Weights and Units in Neural Networks
Candidate: Evci, Utku
Advisor(s): Fergus, Rob
Deep Neural Networks are highly over-parameterized and the size of the neural networks can be reduced significantly after training without any decrease in performance. One can clearly see this phenomenon in a wide range of architectures trained for various problems. Weight/channel pruning, distillation, quantization, matrix factorization are some of the main methods one can use to remove the redundancy to come up with smaller and faster models.
This work starts with a short informative chapter, where we motivate the pruning idea and provide the necessary notation. In the second chapter, we compare various saliency scores in the context of parameter pruning. Using the insights obtained from this comparison and stating the problems it brings we motivate why pruning units instead of the individual parameters might be a better idea. We propose some set of definitions to quantify and analyze units that don't learn and create any useful information. We propose an efficient way for detecting dead units and use it to select which units to prune. We get 5x model size reduction through unit-wise pruning on MNIST.