The rapid advancement of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), computing, and sensing technology has enabled many new applications, such as the self-driving vehicle, the surveillance drone, and the robotic system. Compared to conventional edge devices (e.g. cell phone or smart home devices), these emerging devices are required to deal with much more complicated and dynamic situations in real-time with bounded computation resources. However, there are several challenges, including but not limited to efficiency, real-time adaptation, model stability, and automation of architecture design.
To tackle the challenges mentioned above, model plasticity and stability are leveraged to achieve efficient and online deep learning, especially in the scenario of learning streaming data at the edge:
First, a dynamic training scheme named Continuous Growth and Pruning (CGaP) is proposed to compress the DNNs through growing important parameters and pruning unimportant ones, achieving up to 98.1% reduction in the number of parameters.
Second, this dissertation presents Progressive Segmented Training (PST), which targets catastrophic forgetting problems in continual learning through importance sampling, model segmentation, and memory-assisted balancing. PST achieves state-of-the-art accuracy with 1.5X FLOPs reduction in the complete inference path.
Third, to facilitate online learning in real applications, acquisitive learning (AL) is further proposed to emphasize both knowledge inheritance and acquisition: the majority of the knowledge is first pre-trained in the inherited model and then adapted to acquire new knowledge. The inherited model's stability is monitored by noise injection and the landscape of the loss function, while the acquisition is realized by importance sampling and model segmentation. Compared to a conventional scheme, AL reduces accuracy drop by >10X on CIFAR-100 dataset, with 5X reduction in latency per training image and 150X reduction in training FLOPs.
Finally, this dissertation presents evolutionary neural architecture search in light of model stability (ENAS-S). ENAS-S uses a novel fitness score, which addresses not only the accuracy but also the model stability, to search for an optimal inherited model for the application of continual learning. ENAS-S outperforms hand-designed DNNs when learning from a data stream at the edge.
In summary, in this dissertation, several algorithms exploiting model plasticity and model stability are presented to improve the efficiency and accuracy of deep neural networks, especially for the scenario of continual learning.