Q8BERT: Quantized 8Bit BERT

lib:7dc3143a8a1abf90 (v1.0.0)

Authors: Ofir Zafrir,Guy Boudoukh,Peter Izsak,Moshe Wasserblat
ArXiv: 1910.06188
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Abstract URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.06188v2

Recently, pre-trained Transformer based language models such as BERT and GPT, have shown great improvement in many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. However, these models contain a large amount of parameters. The emergence of even larger and more accurate models such as GPT2 and Megatron, suggest a trend of large pre-trained Transformer models. However, using these large models in production environments is a complex task requiring a large amount of compute, memory and power resources. In this work we show how to perform quantization-aware training during the fine-tuning phase of BERT in order to compress BERT by $4\times$ with minimal accuracy loss. Furthermore, the produced quantized model can accelerate inference speed if it is optimized for 8bit Integer supporting hardware.

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