Machine Learning & Data Science

Microsoft Democratizes DeepSpeed With Four New Technologies

Microsoft has released four additional DeepSpeed technologies to enable even faster training times, whether on supercomputers or a single GPU.

In February, Microsoft introduced its open-source deep learning training optimization library DeepSpeed with memory optimization technology ZeRO (Zero Redundancy Optimizer), which helped build the 17-billion-parameter Turing Natural Language Generation model (T-NLG). In step with its AI at Scale initiative, Microsoft has now released four additional DeepSpeed technologies to enable even faster training times, whether on supercomputers or a single GPU.

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Example 3D parallelism with 32 workers.


3D parallelism is a combination of three parallelism approaches — ZeRO-powered data parallelism (ZeRO-DP), pipeline parallelism, and tensor-slicing model parallelism — that adapts to the varying needs of workload requirements while achieving “near-perfect memory-scaling and throughput-scaling efficiency.” The new feature allows DeepSpeed to train a language model with one trillionparameters using as few as 800 NVIDIA V100 GPUs.

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The second DeepSpeed add-on, ZeRO-Offload, exploits computational and memory resources on both GPUs and their host CPUs, and will be of interest to deep learning practitioners with limited GPU resources. The key technology behind ZeRO-Offload is ZeRO-2, which offloads optimizer states and gradients onto CPU memory to enable a single NVIDIA V100 GPU to train models with up to 13-billion-parameter — 10x larger than the current state-of-the-art.

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Architecture of ZeRO-Offload

The new Sparse Attention (SA) kernels technology meanwhile addresses the limitations of compute and memory requirements in applying attention-based deep learning models. SA can reduce the quadratically growing compute and memory requirements via block-sparse computation, empowering 10x and 16x longer sequences compared with dense BERT-Base and BERT-Large, respectively. SA can also train up to 6.3x faster for BERT-Base and 5.3x for BERT-Large.

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The last advancement is a 1-bit Adam Optimizer, which uses preconditioning to address error compensation compression techniques that do not work with non-linear gradient-based optimizers such as Adam. The compression stage of the algorithm is controlled by a threshold parameter — when changes in variance fall below a certain threshold, it switches to the compression stage. 1-bit Adam offers the same convergence as Adam, but incurs up to 5x less communication — enabling up to 3.5x higher throughput for BERT-Large pretraining and up to 2.7x higher throughput for SQuAD fine-tuning.

The Microsoft Blog post is here, and the codes, tutorials and documentations have been open-sourced on GitHub.


Analyst: Reina Qi Wan | Editor: Michael Sarazen; Fangyu Cai


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1 comment on “Microsoft Democratizes DeepSpeed With Four New Technologies

  1. Pingback: Microsoft Democratizes DeepSpeed With Four New Technologies – IAM Network

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