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Sparse Weight Averaging with Multiple Particles for Iterative Magnitude Pruning

Moonseok Choi · Hyungi Lee · Giung Nam · Juho Lee

Halle B #194
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Thu 9 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Given the ever-increasing size of modern neural networks, the significance of sparse architectures has surged due to their accelerated inference speeds and minimal memory demands. When it comes to global pruning techniques, Iterative Magnitude Pruning (IMP) still stands as a state-of-the-art algorithm despite its simple nature, particularly in extremely sparse regimes. In light of the recent finding that the two successive matching IMP solutions are linearly connected without a loss barrier, we propose Sparse Weight Averaging with Multiple Particles (SWAMP), a straightforward modification of IMP that achieves performance comparable to an ensemble of two IMP solutions. For every iteration, we concurrently train multiple sparse models, referred to as particles, using different batch orders yet the same matching ticket, and then weight average such models to produce a single mask. We demonstrate that our method consistently outperforms existing baselines across different sparsities through extensive experiments on various neural network structures and data.

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