X-CHANGR: Changing Memristive Crossbar Mapping for Mitigating Line-Resistance Induced Accuracy Degradation in Deep Neural Networks
There is widespread interest in emerging technologies, especially resistive crossbars for accelerating Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). Resistive crossbars offer a highly-parallel and efficient matrix-vector-multiplication (MVM) operation. MVM being the most dominant operation in DNNs makes crossbars ideally suited. However, various sources of device and circuit non-idealities lead to errors in the MVM output, thereby reducing DNN accuracy. Towards that end, we propose crossbar re-mapping strategies to mitigate line-resistance induced accuracy degradation in DNNs, without having to re-train the learned weights, unlike most prior works. Line-resistances degrade the voltage levels along the crossbar columns, thereby inducing more errors at the columns away from the drivers. We rank the DNN weights and kernels based on a sensitivity analysis, and re-arrange the columns such that the most sensitive kernels are mapped closer to the drivers, thereby minimizing the impact of errors on the overall accuracy. We propose two algorithms $-$ static remapping strategy (SRS) and dynamic remapping strategy (DRS), to optimize the crossbar re-arrangement of a pre-trained DNN. We demonstrate the benefits of our approach on a standard VGG16 network trained using CIFAR10 dataset. Our results show that SRS and DRS limit the accuracy degradation to 2.9\% and 2.1\%, respectively, compared to a 5.6\% drop from an as it is mapping of weights and kernels to crossbars. We believe this work brings an additional aspect for optimization, which can be used in tandem with existing mitigation techniques, such as in-situ compensation, technology aware training and re-training approaches, to enhance system performance.