Measurement and Analysis

Ballroom C

Moderator: Jonathan Frankle


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Ballroom B - Position 23
Outstanding Paper Award
Efficiently Scaling Transformer Inference

Reiner Pope · Sholto Douglas · Aakanksha Chowdhery · Jacob Devlin · James Bradbury · Jonathan Heek · Kefan Xiao · Shivani Agrawal · Jeff Dean

We study the problem of efficient generative inference for Transformer models, in one of its most challenging settings: large deep models, with tight latency targets and long sequence lengths. Better understanding of the engineering tradeoffs for inference for large Transformer-based models is important as use cases of these models are growing rapidly throughout application areas. We develop a simple analytical model for inference efficiency to select the best multi-dimensional partitioning techniques optimized for TPU v4 slices based on the application requirements. We combine these with a suite of low-level optimizations to achieve a new Pareto frontier on the latency and model FLOPS utilization (MFU) tradeoffs on 500B+ parameter models that outperforms theFasterTransformer suite of benchmarks. We further show that with appropriate partitioning, the lower memory requirements of multiquery attention (i.e. multiple query heads share single key/value head) enables scaling up to32×larger context lengths. Finally, we achieve a low-batch-size latency of 29ms per token during generation (using int8 weight quantization) and a 76% MFU during large-batch-size processing of input tokens, while supporting a long 2048-token context length on the PaLM 540B parameter model.

Ballroom B - Position 24
Hotline Profiler: Automatic Annotation and A Multi-Scale Timeline for Visualizing Time-Use in DNN Training

Daniel Snider · Fanny Chevalier · Gennady Pekhimenko

Profiling is a standard practice used to investigate the efficiency of software and hardware operation at runtime and is a crucial part of proving new concepts, debugging problems, and optimizing performance. However, most machine learning (ML) developers find profiling secondary to their goal of improving model accuracy or just too difficult (especially with existing ML tools). As a result, profiling is frequently an afterthought, and so many ML developers rely on opaque metrics such as iteration time and GPU utilization which give little insight into why ML training may be slow. This leads developers to spend excessive time investigating performance issues. In this work, we aim to provide better tools to the large group of ML developers who currently do not profile their deep neural network (DNN) training workloads or are not happy with existing tools. To help ML developers investigate and understand time-use in DNN training, we propose Hotline, a novel profiler designed specifically for runtime bottleneck identification. Hotline is the first profiler to automatically annotate a standard data format for program runtime traces with DNN concepts that most ML developers are familiar with, i.e. the DNN training loop and model architecture. Hotline does so without modifying DNN libraries or making use of vendor-specific tools and introduces no additional overhead on measurements. We further introduce noise reduction techniques and a multi-scale timeline visualization to make the presentation of DNN runtime data more insightful, familiar, and easy to navigate. We demonstrate Hotline’s utility through in-depth case studies of finding bottlenecks in real-world DNN applications and we report on a user study with 17 software developers in which most participants were able to perform common performance investigation tasks in under 30 seconds (avg = 26 sec) and further commented that Hotline’s visualization “takes less time to findinsights compared to existing approaches”. Source code:

Ballroom B - Position 25
ApproxCaliper: A Programmable Framework for Application-aware Neural Network Optimization

Yifan Zhao · Hashim Sharif · Peter Pao-Huang · Vatsin Shah · Arun Narenthiran Sivakumar · Mateus Valverde Gasparino · Abdulrahman Mahmoud · Nathan Zhao · Sarita Adve · Girish Chowdhary · Sasa Misailovic · Vikram Adve

To deploy compute-intensive neural networks on resource-constrained edge systems, developers use model optimization techniques that reduce model size and computational cost. Existing optimization tools are application-agnostic -- they optimize model parameters solely in view of the neural network accuracy -- and can thus miss optimization opportunities. We propose ApproxCaliper, the first programmable framework for application-aware neural network optimization. By incorporating application-specific goals, ApproxCaliper facilitates more aggressive optimization of the neural networks compared to application-agnostic techniques. We perform experiments on five different neural networks used in two real-world robotics systems: a commercial agriculture robot and a simulation of an autonomous electric cart. Compared to Learning Rate Rewinding (LRR), a state-of-the-art structured pruning tool used in an application-agnostic setting, ApproxCaliper achieves 5.3x higher speedup and 2.9x lower GPU resource utilization, and 36x and 6.1x additional model size reduction, respectively.