GUINNESS: A GUI Based Binarized Deep Neural Network Framework for Software Programmers

Hiroki NAKAHARA  Haruyoshi YONEKAWA  Tomoya FUJII  Masayuki SHIMODA  Shimpei SATO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.5   pp.1003-1011
Publication Date: 2019/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018RCP0002
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Reconfigurable Systems)
Category: Design Tools
machine learning,  deep learning,  pruning,  FPGA,  

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The GUINNESS (GUI based binarized neural network synthesizer) is an open-source tool flow for a binarized deep neural network toward FPGA implementation based on the GUI including both the training on the GPU and inference on the FPGA. Since all the operation is done on the GUI, the software designer is not necessary to write any scripts to design the neural network structure, training behavior, only specify the values for hyperparameters. After finishing the training, it automatically generates C++ codes to synthesis the bit-stream using the Xilinx SDSoC system design tool flow. Thus, our tool flow is suitable for the software programmers who are not familiar with the FPGA design. In our tool flow, we modify the training algorithms both the training and the inference for a binarized CNN hardware. Since the hardware has a limited number of bit precision, it lacks minimal bias in training. Also, for the inference on the hardware, the conventional batch normalization technique requires additional hardware. Our modifications solve these problems. We implemented the VGG-11 benchmark CNN on the Digilent Inc. Zedboard. Compared with the conventional binarized implementations on an FPGA, the classification accuracy was almost the same, the performance per power efficiency is 5.1 times better, as for the performance per area efficiency, it is 8.0 times better, and as for the performance per memory, it is 8.2 times better. We compare the proposed FPGA design with the CPU and the GPU designs. Compared with the ARM Cortex-A57, it was 1776.3 times faster, it dissipated 3.0 times lower power, and its performance per power efficiency was 5706.3 times better. Also, compared with the Maxwell GPU, it was 11.5 times faster, it dissipated 7.3 times lower power, and its performance per power efficiency was 83.0 times better. The disadvantage of our FPGA based design requires additional time to synthesize the FPGA executable codes. From the experiment, it consumed more three hours, and the total FPGA design took 75 hours. Since the training of the CNN is dominant, it is considerable.