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Distributed Learning of CNNs on Heterogeneous CPU/GPU Architectures

Marques, JM ; Falcão, G. ; Alexandre, L.A.

Applied Artificial Intelligence Vol. 1, Nº 1, pp. 1 - 23, September, 2018.

ISSN (print): 0883-9514
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,23 (in 2018)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/08839514.2018.1508814

The convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have proven to be
powerful classification tools in tasks that range from check reading
to medical diagnosis, reaching close to human perception,
and in some cases surpassing it. However, the problems to solve
are becoming larger and more complex, which translates to
larger CNNs, leading to longer training times that not even the
adoption of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) could keep up to.
This problem is partially solved by using more processing units
and distributed training methods that are offered by several
frameworks dedicated to neural network training, such as Caffe,
Torch, or TensorFlow. However, these techniques do not take full
advantage of the possible parallelization offered by CNNs and the
cooperative use of heterogeneous devices with different processing
capabilities, clock speeds, memory size, among others. This
paper presents a new method for the parallel training of CNNs
where only the convolutional layer is distributed. The paper
analyzes the influence of network size, bandwidth, batch size,
number of devices, including their processing capabilities, and
other parameters. Results show that this technique is capable of
diminishing the training time without affecting the classification
performance for both CPUs and GPUs. For the CIFAR-10 dataset,
using a CNN with two convolutional layers, and 500 and 1500
kernels, respectively, best speedups achieve 3.28x using four
CPUs and 2.45x with three GPUs. Larger datasets will certainly
require more than 60-90% of processing time calculating convolutions,
and speedups will tend to increase accordingly.