Accelerated Deep Learning using Intel Xeon Phi

Andre Viebke
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science
Linnaeus University, 2015


   title={Accelerated Deep Learning using Intel Xeon Phi},

   author={Viebke, Andr{‘e}},



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Deep learning, a sub-topic of machine learning inspired by biology, have achieved wide attention in the industry and research community recently. State-of-the-art applications in the area of computer vision and speech recognition (among others) are built using deep learning algorithms. In contrast to traditional algorithms, where the developer fully instructs the application what to do, deep learning algorithms instead learn from experience when performing a task. However, for the algorithm to learn require training, which is a high computational challenge. High Performance Computing can help ease the burden through parallelization, thereby reducing the training time; this is essential to fully utilize the algorithms in practice. Numerous work targeting GPUs have investigated ways to speed up the training, less attention have been paid to the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor. In this thesis we present a parallelized implementation of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), a deep learning architecture, and our proposed parallelization scheme, CHAOS. Additionally a theoretical analysis and a performance model discuss the algorithm in detail and allow for predictions if even more threads are available in the future. The algorithm is evaluated on an Intel Xeon Phi 7120p, Xeon E5-2695v2 2.4 GHz and Core i5 661 3.33 GHz using various architectures and thread counts on the MNIST dataset. Findings show a 103.5x, 99.9x, 100.4x speed up for the large, medium, and small architecture respectively for 244 threads compared to 1 thread on the coprocessor. Moreover, a 10.9x – 14.1x (large to small) speed up compared to the sequential version running on Xeon E5. We managed to decrease training time from 7 days on the Core i5 and 31 hours on the Xeon E5, to 3 hours on the Intel Xeon Phi when training our large network for 15 epochs.
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