Large-scale machine learning

Today, training most powerful models often takes significant resources. Our research aims to make large-scale training more efficient and accessible to the entire machine learning community.

Area 7. Large-scale machine learning.svg



  • CAP: Correlation-Aware Pruning for Highly-Accurate Sparse Vision Models

    Large-scale machine learningComputer vision
    Denis Kuznedelev
    Eldar Kurtic
    Elias Frantar
    Dan Alistarh
    NeurIPS, 2023

    Driven by significant improvements in architectural design and training pipelines, computer vision has recently experienced dramatic progress in terms of accuracy on classic benchmarks such as ImageNet. These highly-accurate models are challenging to deploy, as they appear harder to compress using standard techniques such as pruning. We address this issue by introducing the Correlation Aware Pruner (CAP), a new unstructured pruning framework which significantly pushes the compressibility limits for state-of-the-art architectures. Our method is based on two technical advancements: a new theoretically-justified pruner, which can handle complex weight correlations accurately and efficiently during the pruning process itself, and an efficient finetuning procedure for post-compression recovery. We validate our approach via extensive experiments on several modern vision models such as Vision Transformers (ViT), modern CNNs, and ViT-CNN hybrids, showing for the first time that these can be pruned to high sparsity levels (e.g. ≥75%) with low impact on accuracy (≤1% relative drop). Our approach is also compatible with structured pruning and quantization, and can lead to practical speedups of 1.5 to 2.4x without accuracy loss. To further showcase CAP’s accuracy and scalability, we use it to show for the first time that extremely-accurate large vision models, trained via self-supervised techniques, can also be pruned to moderate sparsities, with negligible accuracy loss.

  • Distributed Inference and Fine-tuning of Large Language Models Over The Internet

    Large-scale machine learningNatural language processing
    Alexander Borzunov
    Max Ryabinin
    Artem Chumachenko
    Dmitry Baranchuk
    Tim Dettmers
    Younes Belkada
    Pavel Samygin
    Colin Raffel
    NeurIPS, 2023

    Large language models (LLMs) are useful in many NLP tasks and become more capable with size, with the best open-source models having over 50 billion parameters. However, using these 50B+ models requires high-end hardware, making them inaccessible to most researchers. In this work, we investigate methods for cost-efficient inference and fine-tuning of LLMs, comparing local and distributed strategies. We observe that a large enough model (50B+) can run efficiently even on geodistributed devices in a consumer-grade network. This could allow running LLM efficiently by pooling together idle compute resources of multiple research groups and volunteers. We address two open problems: (1) how to perform inference and fine-tuning reliably if any device can disconnect abruptly and (2) how to partition LLMs between devices with uneven hardware, joining and leaving at will. In order to do that, we develop special fault-tolerant inference algorithms and load-balancing protocols that automatically assign devices to maximize the total system throughput. We showcase these algorithms in Petals — a decentralized system that runs Llama 2 (70B) and BLOOM (176B) over the Internet up to 10х faster than offloading for interactive generation. We evaluate the performance of our system in simulated conditions and a real-world setup spanning two continents.

  • FlexGen: High-Throughput Generative Inference of Large Language Models with a Single GPU

    Large-scale machine learning
    Ying Sheng
    Lianmin Zheng
    Binhang Yuan
    Zhuohan Li
    Max Ryabinin
    Beidi Chen
    Percy Liang
    Christopher Re
    Ion Stoica
    Ce Zhang
    ICML, 2023

    The high computational and memory requirements of large language model (LLM) inference make it feasible only with multiple high-end accelerators. Motivated by the emerging demand for latency-insensitive tasks with batched processing, this paper initiates the study of high-throughput LLM inference using limited resources, such as a single commodity GPU. We present FlexGen, a high-throughput generation engine for running LLMs with limited GPU memory. FlexGen can be flexibly configured under various hardware resource constraints by aggregating memory and computation from the GPU, CPU, and disk. By solving a linear programming problem, it searches for efficient patterns to store and access tensors. FlexGen further compresses the weights and the attention cache to 4 bits with negligible accuracy loss. These techniques enable FlexGen to have a larger space of batch size choices and thus significantly increase maximum throughput. As a result, when running OPT-175B on a single 16GB GPU, FlexGen achieves significantly higher throughput compared to state-of-the-art offloading systems, reaching a generation throughput of 1 token/s for the first time with an effective batch size of 144. On the HELM benchmark, FlexGen can benchmark a 30B model with a 16GB GPU on 7 representative sub-scenarios in 21 hours. The code is available at