Automatic Attention Pruning: Improving and Automating Model Pruning using Attentions
Proceedings of The 26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 206:10470-10486, 2023.
Pruning is a promising approach to compress deep learning models in order to deploy them on resource-constrained edge devices. However, many existing pruning solutions are based on unstructured pruning, which yields models that cannot efficiently run on commodity hardware; and they often require users to manually explore and tune the pruning process, which is time-consuming and often leads to sub-optimal results. To address these limitations, this paper presents Automatic Attention Pruning (AAP), an adaptive, attention-based, structured pruning approach to automatically generate small, accurate, and hardware-efficient models that meet user objectives. First, it proposes iterative structured pruning using activation-based attention maps to effectively identify and prune unimportant filters. Then, it proposes adaptive pruning policies for automatically meeting the pruning objectives of accuracy-critical, memory-constrained, and latency-sensitive tasks. A comprehensive evaluation shows that AAP substantially outperforms the state-of-the-art structured pruning works for a variety of model architectures. Our code is at: https://github.com/kaiqi123/Automatic-Attention-Pruning.git.