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Solving Oscillation Problem in Post-Training Quantization Through a Theoretical Perspective

Yuexiao Ma · Huixia Li · Xiawu Zheng · Xuefeng Xiao · Rui Wang · Shilei Wen · Xin Pan · Fei Chao · Rongrong Ji

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 366


Post-training quantization (PTQ) is widely regarded as one of the most efficient compression methods practically, benefitting from its data privacy and low computation costs. We argue that an overlooked problem of oscillation is in the PTQ methods. In this paper, we take the initiative to explore and present a theoretical proof to explain why such a problem is essential in PTQ. And then, we try to solve this problem by introducing a principled and generalized framework theoretically. In particular, we first formulate the oscillation in PTQ and prove the problem is caused by the difference in module capacity. To this end, we define the module capacity (ModCap) under data-dependent and data-free scenarios, where the differentials between adjacent modules are used to measure the degree of oscillation. The problem is then solved by selecting top-k differentials, in which the corresponding modules are jointly optimized and quantized. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method successfully reduces the performance drop and is generalized to different neural networks and PTQ methods. For example, with 2/4 bit ResNet-50 quantization, our method surpasses the previous state-of-the-art method by 1.9%. It becomes more significant on small model quantization, e.g. surpasses BRECQ method by 6.61% on MobileNetV2*0.5.

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