A Threshold Neuron Pruning for a Binarized Deep Neural Network on an FPGA

Tomoya FUJII  Shimpei SATO  Hiroki NAKAHARA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E101-D   No.2   pp.376-386
Publication Date: 2018/02/01
Publicized: 2017/11/17
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2017RCP0013
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Reconfigurable Systems)
Category: Emerging Applications
machine learning,  deep learning,  pruning,  FPGA,  

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For a pre-trained deep convolutional neural network (CNN) for an embedded system, a high-speed and a low power consumption are required. In the former of the CNN, it consists of convolutional layers, while in the latter, it consists of fully connection layers. In the convolutional layer, the multiply accumulation operation is a bottleneck, while the fully connection layer, the memory access is a bottleneck. The binarized CNN has been proposed to realize many multiply accumulation circuit on the FPGA, thus, the convolutional layer can be done with a high-seed operation. However, even if we apply the binarization to the fully connection layer, the amount of memory was still a bottleneck. In this paper, we propose a neuron pruning technique which eliminates almost part of the weight memory, and we apply it to the fully connection layer on the binarized CNN. In that case, since the weight memory is realized by an on-chip memory on the FPGA, it achieves a high-speed memory access. To further reduce the memory size, we apply the retraining the CNN after neuron pruning. In this paper, we propose a sequential-input parallel-output fully connection layer circuit for the binarized fully connection layer, while proposing a streaming circuit for the binarized 2D convolutional layer. The experimental results showed that, by the neuron pruning, as for the fully connected layer on the VGG-11 CNN, the number of neurons was reduced by 39.8% with keeping the 99% baseline accuracy. We implemented the neuron pruning CNN on the Xilinx Inc. Zynq Zedboard. Compared with the ARM Cortex-A57, it was 1773.0 times faster, it dissipated 3.1 times lower power, and its performance per power efficiency was 5781.3 times better. Also, compared with the Maxwell GPU, it was 11.1 times faster, it dissipated 7.7 times lower power, and its performance per power efficiency was 84.1 times better. Thus, the binarized CNN on the FPGA is suitable for the embedded system.