Efficient Algorithms for Device Placement of DNN Graph Operators

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Jakub M. Tarnawski, Amar Phanishayee, Nikhil Devanur, Divya Mahajan, Fanny Nina Paravecino


Modern machine learning workloads use large models, with complex structures, that are very expensive to execute. The devices that execute complex models are becoming increasingly heterogeneous as we see a flourishing of Domain Specific Architectures (DSAs) being offered as hardware accelerators in addition to CPUs. These trends necessitate distributing the workload across multiple devices. Recent work has shown that significant gains can be obtained with model parallelism, i.e, partitioning a neural network's computational graph onto multiple devices. In particular, this form of parallelism assumes a pipeline of devices, which is fed a stream of samples and yields high throughput for training and inference of DNNs. However, for such settings (large models and multiple heterogeneous devices), we require automated algorithms and toolchains that can partition the ML workload across devices.

In this paper, we identify and isolate the structured optimization problem at the core of device placement of DNN operators, for both inference and training, especially in modern pipelined settings. We then provide algorithms that solve this problem to optimality. We demonstrate the applicability and efficiency of our approaches using several contemporary DNN computation graphs.