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Compute-Efficient Deep Learning: Algorithmic Trends and Opportunities

Brian R. Bartoldson, Bhavya Kailkhura, Davis Blalock; 24(122):1−77, 2023.


Although deep learning has made great progress in recent years, the exploding economic and environmental costs of training neural networks are becoming unsustainable. To address this problem, there has been a great deal of research on *algorithmically-efficient deep learning*, which seeks to reduce training costs not at the hardware or implementation level, but through changes in the semantics of the training program. In this paper, we present a structured and comprehensive overview of the research in this field. First, we formalize the *algorithmic speedup* problem, then we use fundamental building blocks of algorithmically efficient training to develop a taxonomy. Our taxonomy highlights commonalities of seemingly disparate methods and reveals current research gaps. Next, we present evaluation best practices to enable comprehensive, fair, and reliable comparisons of speedup techniques. To further aid research and applications, we discuss common bottlenecks in the training pipeline (illustrated via experiments) and offer taxonomic mitigation strategies for them. Finally, we highlight some unsolved research challenges and present promising future directions.

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