MNN: A Universal and Efficient Inference Engine

Part of Proceedings of Machine Learning and Systems 2020 (MLSys 2020)

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Authors

Xiaotang Jiang, Huan Wang, Yiliu Chen, Ziqi Wu, Lichuan Wang, Bin Zou, Yafeng Yang, Zongyang Cui, Yu Cai, Tianhang Yu, Chengfei Lyu, Zhihua Wu

Abstract

Deploying deep learning (DL) models on mobile devices draws more and more attention recently. However, designing an efficient inference engine on devices is under the great challenges of model compatibility, device diversity, and resource limitation. To deal with these challenges, we propose Mobile Neural Network (MNN), a universal and efficient inference engine tailored to mobile applications. In this paper, the contributions of MNN include: (1) presenting a mechanism called pre-inference that manages to conduct runtime optimization; (2) delivering thorough kernel optimization on operators to achieve optimal computation performance; (3) introducing backend abstraction module which enables hybrid scheduling and keeps the engine lightweight. Extensive benchmark experiments demonstrate that MNN performs favorably against other popular lightweight DL frameworks.