MALI: A memory efficient and reverse accurate integrator for Neural ODEs

Juntang Zhuang · Nicha C Dvornek · sekhar tatikonda · James s Duncan

Keywords: [ neural ode ] [ memory efficient ] [ gradient estimation ] [ reverse accuracy ]

Abstract: Neural ordinary differential equations (Neural ODEs) are a new family of deep-learning models with continuous depth. However, the numerical estimation of the gradient in the continuous case is not well solved: existing implementations of the adjoint method suffer from inaccuracy in reverse-time trajectory, while the naive method and the adaptive checkpoint adjoint method (ACA) have a memory cost that grows with integration time. In this project, based on the asynchronous leapfrog (ALF) solver, we propose the Memory-efficient ALF Integrator (MALI), which has a constant memory cost $w.r.t$ integration time similar to the adjoint method, and guarantees accuracy in reverse-time trajectory (hence accuracy in gradient estimation). We validate MALI in various tasks: on image recognition tasks, to our knowledge, MALI is the first to enable feasible training of a Neural ODE on ImageNet and outperform a well-tuned ResNet, while existing methods fail due to either heavy memory burden or inaccuracy; for time series modeling, MALI significantly outperforms the adjoint method; and for continuous generative models, MALI achieves new state-of-the-art performance. We provide a pypi package:

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