Automated Optimization Boosts ResNet50 Performance by 1.77x

By Tiffany Trader

October 23, 2018

From supercomputers to cell phones, every system and software device in our digital panoply has a growing number of settings that, if not optimized, constrain performance, wasting precious cycles and watts.

In the fast-growing field of AI, optimized systems yield faster training times and require less infrastructure. But the tuning process can be tedious and requires specialized skills. Startup Concertio, creator of performance optimization toolkit Optimizer Studio, is asking the question, “can we relieve data scientists from the need to understand their specific underlying infrastructure and from the need to optimize the performance of their models?”

In short: can the tuning process be automated?

Using Concertio’s optimization tool, Intel was able to accelerate TensorFlow implementations of three popular deep learning models, including
ResNet50, which saw a speedup of 1.77x over baseline. The result, described by Intel and Concertio, was achieved automatically without any manual effort, producing comparable speedup to manual tuning by Intel’s engineers. “What took tens of hours of manual labor was now done automatically in just two hours,” reported Concertio Co-founder and CEO Tomer Morad in a blog post, published today.

“Concertio’s Optimizer Studio was able to leverage the tunables of TensorFlow and Intel Xeon Scalable Processors to further accelerate deep learning workloads,” shared Dr. Arjun Bansal, vice president of AI Software and Research at Intel. “Optimizer Studio is able to relieve engineers from the task of finding optimal system settings, as it achieves at least comparable performance to manual tuning – but without the manual effort.”

Concertio’s Optimizer Studio tool (profiled by EnterpriseTech earlier this year) navigates the broad parameter space of system settings and application settings on today’s devices and works to maximize the performance by finding the best settings possible. Settings can be anywhere in the system — in the processor, the firmware, the operating system and also in the applications and application frameworks, like TensorFlow. Optimizer Studio runs the workload iteratively until it finds a configuration that performs well. The two parameters that Intel had Optimizer Studio zero in on for tuning its Tensorflow workload for ResNet50 are called intra_op and inter_op, which control model level parallelism and data parallelism.

Morad explains that optimizing these parameters can greatly accelerate throughput for the training, but there’s a tradeoff where higher values increase parallelism but also amplify the contention on shared resources such as the main memory and on-chip caches. There comes a point where the benefit of increased parallelism gets canceled out by the slowdown caused by increased contention. With inter_op values ranging from 1 to 28 and intra_op taking an even number from 10 to 56, there are 672 possible configurations to explore, so finding the optimized combination requires extensive experimentation that can take tens of hours.

The team of Intel AI engineers, led by Dr. Jayaram Bobba, performed the optimization using Concertio Optimizer Studio version 1.12 on an Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor (@ 2.50GHz) with 384GB RAM. It took two hours and 8 minutes to identify the optimal values for inter_op and intra_op (found to be 2 and 28, respectively).

This graph shows ResNet50 relative performance during optimization:

The first model that Intel evaluated, ResNet50, is a variant of Deep Residual Networks, the deep convolutional neural network created by
Microsoft. The Intel team extended its assessment to include GNMT (Google’s Neural Machine Translation System) and DeepSpeech, an open-source speech-to-text engine, implemented in TensorFlow. In this round of testing, Intel was looking to see whether optimized OS and CPU settings would provide further performance gains following manual optimization of their TensorFlow tunables. Using Optimizer Studio with the same Xeon test platform led to the discovery of settings that improved the performance by 8.3 percent and 8 percent for GNMT and DeepSpeech respectively.

Morad told HPCwire that Concertio and the Intel AI team crossed paths a while back when Concertio was meeting with another group at Intel in Hillsboro, Ore. The Intel AI team is constantly looking for ways to improve TensorFlow performance on Intel Architectures, so it was natural for them to explore a tool that promised to automate the tedious task of searching for optimal configurations. The Intel engineers downloaded the Optimizer Studio software and conducted the experiments. Along the way, they provided feedback to Concertio that went into improving the product.

It is Concertio’s expectation that users running TensorFlow who have not done regular system tuning will likely see a sizable speedup from Optimizer Studio. “Since the effort involved in manual tuning on a regular basis is significant, we see that in the vast majority of cases it just never happens,” said Morad. “This is one of the main advantages of using automation for this purpose — the tool allows integrating performance optimization into the CI/CD pipeline so that every software version that comes out is always performing at its best.”

“Our aim was to make Optimizer Studio as intuitive as possible to use, and it is satisfying to see that the majority of users are able to see results in the first day of use without requiring assistance,” said Morad. “That said, we love being engaged with our users and assisting them, and we do so through various channels, including via Slack.”

Developers can purchase annual licenses of Optimizer Studio directly from Concertio or through value-added distributors. High-performance computing users can also get these tools from Red Barn Technology Group, an HPC systems integrator headquartered in Binghamton, NY.

Read the blog for the full study as well to see configuration details and disclaimers.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

HPC Career Notes: April 2020 Edition

April 2, 2020

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

AMD Epyc CPUs Now on Bare Metal IBM Cloud Servers

April 1, 2020

AMD’s expanding presence in the datacenter and cloud computing markets took a step forward with today’s announcement that its 7nm 2nd Gen Epyc 7642 CPUs are now available on IBM Cloud bare metal servers. AMD, whose Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer Testing Probes Viral Transmission in Airplanes

April 1, 2020

It might be a long time before the general public is flying again, but the question remains: how high-risk is air travel in terms of viral infection? In an article for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Faith Si Read more…

By Staff report

ECP Milestone Report Details Progress and Directions

April 1, 2020

The Exascale Computing Project (ECP) milestone report issued last week presents a good snapshot of progress in preparing applications for exascale computing. There are roughly 30 ECP application development (AD) subproj Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Supercomputer Employed to Develop COVID-19 Treatment

March 31, 2020

From Summit to [email protected], global supercomputing is continuing to mobilize against the coronavirus pandemic by crunching massive problems like epidemiology, therapeutic development and vaccine development. The latest a Read more…

By Staff report

AWS Solution Channel

Amazon FSx for Lustre Update: Persistent Storage for Long-Term, High-Performance Workloads

Last year I wrote about Amazon FSx for Lustre and told you how our customers can use it to create pebibyte-scale, highly parallel POSIX-compliant file systems that serve thousands of simultaneous clients driving millions of IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) with sub-millisecond latency. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Supersonic Jets, Skin Modeling, Astrophysics & More

March 31, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

ECP Milestone Report Details Progress and Directions

April 1, 2020

The Exascale Computing Project (ECP) milestone report issued last week presents a good snapshot of progress in preparing applications for exascale computing. Th Read more…

By John Russell

Pandemic ‘Wipes Out’ 2020 HPC Market Growth, Flat to 12% Drop Expected

March 31, 2020

As the world battles the still accelerating novel coronavirus, the HPC community has mounted a forceful response to the pandemic on many fronts. But these efforts won't inoculate the HPC industry from the economic effects of COVID-19. Market watcher Intersect360 Research has revised its 2020 forecast for HPC products and services, projecting... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

LLNL Leverages Supercomputing to Identify COVID-19 Antibody Candidates

March 30, 2020

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe to devastating effect, supercomputers around the world are spinning up to fight back by working on diagnosis, epidemiology, treatme Read more…

By Staff report

Weather at Exascale: Load Balancing for Heterogeneous Systems

March 30, 2020

The first months of 2020 were dominated by weather and climate supercomputing news, with major announcements coming from the UK, the European Centre for Medium- Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Q&A Part Two: ORNL’s Pooser on Progress in Quantum Communication

March 30, 2020

Quantum computing seems to get more than its fair share of attention compared to quantum communication. That’s despite the fact that quantum networking may be Read more…

By John Russell

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Conversation: ANL’s Rick Stevens on DoE’s AI for Science Project

March 23, 2020

With release of the Department of Energy’s AI for Science report in late February, the effort to build a national AI program, modeled loosely on the U.S. Exascale Initiative, enters a new phase. Project leaders have already had early discussions with Congress... Read more…

By John Russell

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu A64FX Supercomputer to Be Deployed at Nagoya University This Summer

February 3, 2020

Japanese tech giant Fujitsu announced today that it will supply Nagoya University Information Technology Center with the first commercial supercomputer powered Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tech Conferences Are Being Canceled Due to Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Several conferences scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) and the Strata Data + AI conference, have Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Cray to Provide NOAA with Two AMD-Powered Supercomputers

February 24, 2020

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week announced plans for a major refresh of its operational weather forecasting supercomputers, part of a 10-year, $505.2 million program, which will secure two HPE-Cray systems for NOAA’s National Weather Service to be fielded later this year and put into production in early 2022. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Exascale Watch: El Capitan Will Use AMD CPUs & GPUs to Reach 2 Exaflops

March 4, 2020

HPE and its collaborators reported today that El Capitan, the forthcoming exascale supercomputer to be sited at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Unveils Latest Achievements in AI Hardware

December 13, 2019

“The increased capabilities of contemporary AI models provide unprecedented recognition accuracy, but often at the expense of larger computational and energet Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

IBM Debuts IC922 Power Server for AI Inferencing and Data Management

January 28, 2020

IBM today launched a Power9-based inference server – the IC922 – that features up to six Nvidia T4 GPUs, PCIe Gen 4 and OpenCAPI connectivity, and can accom Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Joins the Fight Against the Coronavirus

March 6, 2020

With the coronavirus sweeping the globe, tech conferences and supply chains are being hit hard – but now, tech is hitting back. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Read more…

By Staff report

University of Stuttgart Inaugurates ‘Hawk’ Supercomputer

February 20, 2020

This week, the new “Hawk” supercomputer was inaugurated in a ceremony at the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS). Offici Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This