TraNNsformer: Neural network transformation for memristive crossbar based neuromorphic system design
Implementation of Neuromorphic Systems using post Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) technology based Memristive Crossbar Array (MCA) has emerged as a promising solution to enable low-power acceleration of neural networks. However, the recent trend to design Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) for achieving human-like cognitive abilities poses significant challenges towards the scalable design of neuromorphic systems (due to the increase in computation/storage demands). Network pruning  is a powerful technique to remove redundant connections for designing optimally connected (maximally sparse) DNNs. However, such pruning techniques induce irregular connections that are incoherent to the crossbar structure. Eventually they produce DNNs with highly inefficient hardware realizations (in terms of area and energy). In this work, we propose TraNNsformer - an integrated training framework that transforms DNNs to enable their efficient realization on MCA-based systems. TraNNsformer first prunes the connectivity matrix while forming clusters with the remaining connections. Subsequently, it retrains the network to fine tune the connections and reinforce the clusters. This is done iteratively to transform the original connectivity into an optimally pruned and maximally clustered mapping. Without accuracy loss, TraNNsformer reduces the area (energy) consumption by 28% - 55% (49% - 67%) with respect to the original network. Compared to network pruning, TraNNsformer achieves 28% - 49% (15% - 29%) area (energy) savings. Furthermore, TraNNsformer is a technology-aware framework that allows mapping a given DNN to any MCA size permissible by the memristive technology for reliable operations.
- Pub Date:
- August 2017
- Computer Science - Emerging Technologies;
- Computer Science - Neural and Evolutionary Computing
- (8 pages, 9 figures) Published in Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), 2017 IEEE/ACM International Conference on