Compressing Low Precision Deep Neural Networks Using Sparsity-Induced Regularization in Ternary Networks

  • Julian FaraoneEmail author
  • Nicholas Fraser
  • Giulio Gambardella
  • Michaela Blott
  • Philip H. W. Leong
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10635)


A low precision deep neural network training technique for producing sparse, ternary neural networks is presented. The technique incorporates hardware implementation costs during training to achieve significant model compression for inference. Training involves three stages: network training using L2 regularization and a quantization threshold regularizer, quantization pruning, and finally retraining. Resulting networks achieve improved accuracy, reduced memory footprint and reduced computational complexity compared with conventional methods, on MNIST and CIFAR10 datasets. Our networks are up to 98% sparse and 5 & 11 times smaller than equivalent binary and ternary models, translating to significant resource and speed benefits for hardware implementations.


Deep Neural Networks Ternary Neural Network Low-precision Pruning Sparsity Compression 



This research was partly supported under the Australian Research Councils Linkage Projects funding scheme (project number LP130101034) and Zomojo Pty Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Faraone
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nicholas Fraser
    • 1
    • 2
  • Giulio Gambardella
    • 2
  • Michaela Blott
    • 2
  • Philip H. W. Leong
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electrical and Information EngineeringThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Xilinx Research LabsDublinIreland

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