TT-Rec: Tensor Train Compression for Deep Learning Recommendation Models

Part of Proceedings of Machine Learning and Systems 3 pre-proceedings (MLSys 2021)

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Chunxing Yin, Bilge Acun, Carole-Jean Wu, Xing Liu


The memory capacity of embedding tables in deep learning recommendation models (DLRMs) is increasing dramatically from tens of GBs to TBs across the industry. Given the fast growth in DLRMs, novel solutions are urgently needed in order to enable DLRM innovations. At the same time, this must be done in a fast and efficient way without having to exponentially increase infrastructure capacity demands. In this paper, we demonstrate the promising potential of Tensor Train decomposition for DLRMs (TT-Rec), an important yet under-investigated context. We design and implement optimized kernels (TT-EmbeddingBag) to evaluate the proposed TT-Rec design. TT-EmbeddingBag is 3x faster than the SOTA TT implementation. The performance of TT-Rec is further optimized with the batched matrix multiplication and caching strategies for embedding vector lookup operations. In addition, we present mathematically and empirically the effect of weight initialization distribution on DLRM accuracy and propose to initialize the tensor cores of TT-Rec following the sampled Gaussian distribution. We evaluate TT-Rec across three important design space dimensions---memory capacity, accuracy, and timing performance---by training MLPerf-DLRM with Criteo's Kaggle and Terabyte data sets. TT-Rec compresses the model size by 4x to 221x for Kaggle, with 0.03% to 0.3% loss of accuracy correspondingly. For Terabyte, our approach achieves 112x model size reduction which comes with no accuracy loss nor training time overhead as compared to the uncompressed baseline.