Practical Low-Rank Gradient Compression for Distributed Optimization


  Jaggi Martin
  Lin Tao
  Vogels Thijs

Research Partners

Meta Platforms, Inc. Meta

We study gradient compression methods to alleviate the communication bottleneck in data-parallel distributed optimization. Despite the significant attention received, current compression schemes either do not scale well or fail to achieve the target test accuracy.

We propose a new low-rank gradient compressor based on power iteration that can

  1. compress gradients rapidly,
  2. efficiently aggregate the compressed gradients using all-reduce, and
  3. achieve test performance on par with SGD.
The proposed algorithm is the only method evaluated that achieves consistent wall-clock speedups when benchmarked against regular SGD with an optimized communication backend. We demonstrate reduced training times for convolutional networks as well as LSTMs on common datasets.

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Related Publications

PowerSGD: Practical Low-Rank Gradient Compression for Distributed Optimization
Vogels, Thijs; Karinireddy, Sai Praneeth; Jaggi, Martin
2019-01-01Advances In Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)