ECC: Platform-Independent Energy-Constrained Deep Neural Network Compression via a Bilinear Regression Model
Many DNN-enabled vision applications constantly operate under severe energy constraints such as unmanned aerial vehicles, Augmented Reality headsets, and smartphones. Designing DNNs that can meet a stringent energy budget is becoming increasingly important. This paper proposes ECC, a framework that compresses DNNs to meet a given energy constraint while minimizing accuracy loss. The key idea of ECC is to model the DNN energy consumption via a novel bilinear regression function. The energy estimate model allows us to formulate DNN compression as a constrained optimization that minimizes the DNN loss function over the energy constraint. The optimization problem, however, has nontrivial constraints. Therefore, existing deep learning solvers do not apply directly. We propose an optimization algorithm that combines the essence of the Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (ADMM) framework with gradient-based learning algorithms. The algorithm decomposes the original constrained optimization into several subproblems that are solved iteratively and efficiently. ECC is also portable across different hardware platforms without requiring hardware knowledge. Experiments show that ECC achieves higher accuracy under the same or lower energy budget compared to state-of-the-art resource-constrained DNN compression techniques.