Optimal Brain Compression: A Framework for Accurate Post-Training Quantization and Pruning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Elias Frantar, Dan Alistarh


We consider the problem of model compression for deep neural networks (DNNs) in the challenging one-shot/post-training setting, in which we are given an accurate trained model, and must compress it without any retraining, based only on a small amount of calibration input data. This problem has become popular in view of the emerging software and hardware support for executing models compressed via pruning and/or quantization with speedup, and well-performing solutions have been proposed independently for both compression approaches.In this paper, we introduce a new compression framework which covers both weight pruning and quantization in a unified setting, is time- and space-efficient, and considerably improves upon the practical performance of existing post-training methods. At the technical level, our approach is based on an exact and efficient realization of the classical Optimal Brain Surgeon (OBS) framework of [LeCun, Denker, and Solla, 1990] extended to also cover weight quantization at the scale of modern DNNs. From the practical perspective, our experimental results show that it can improve significantly upon the compression-accuracy trade-offs of existing post-training methods, and that it can enable the accurate compound application of both pruning and quantization in a post-training setting.