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# Layer-Wise Neural Network Compression via Layer Fusion

*Proceedings of The 13th Asian Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 157:1381-1396, 2021.

#### Abstract

This paper proposes \textit{layer fusion} - a model compression technique that discovers which weights to combine and then fuses weights of similar fully-connected, convolutional and attention layers. Layer fusion can significantly reduce the number of layers of the original network with little additional computation overhead, while maintaining competitive performance. From experiments on CIFAR-10, we find that various deep convolution neural networks can remain within 2% accuracy points of the original networks up to a compression ratio of 3.33 when iteratively retrained with layer fusion. For experiments on the WikiText-2 language modelling dataset, we compress Transformer models to 20% of their original size while being within 5 perplexity points of the original network. We also find that other well-established compression techniques can achieve competitive performance when compared to their original networks given a sufficient number of retraining steps. Generally, we observe a clear inflection point in performance as the amount of compression increases, suggesting a bound on the amount of compression that can be achieved before an exponential degradation in performance.