ZeroQuant: Efficient and Affordable Post-Training Quantization for Large-Scale Transformers

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Zhewei Yao, Reza Yazdani Aminabadi, Minjia Zhang, Xiaoxia Wu, Conglong Li, Yuxiong He


How to efficiently serve ever-larger trained natural language models in practice has become exceptionally challenging even for powerful cloud servers due to their prohibitive memory/computation requirements.In this work, we present an efficient and affordable post-training quantization approach to compress large Transformer-based models, termed as \OURS. \OURS is an end-to-end quantization and inference pipeline with three main components: (1) a fine-grained hardware-friendly quantization scheme for both weight and activations; (2) a novel affordable layer-by-layer knowledge distillation algorithm (\lwd) even without the original training data access;(3) a highly-optimized quantization system backend support to remove the quantization/dequantization overhead.As such, we are able to show that:(1) \OURS can reduce the precision for weight and activations to INT8 in a cost-free way for both \bert and \gpt-style models with minimal accuracy impact, which leads to up to 5.19x/4.16x speedup on \bert/\gpt-style models compared to FP16 inference, separately;(2) \OURS plus \lwd can affordably quantize the weights in the fully-connected module to INT4 along with INT8 weights in the attention module and INT8 activations, resulting in 3x memory footprint reduction compared to the FP16 model;(3) \OURS can be directly applied to two of the largest open-sourced language models, including \gptneox, for which our INT8 model achieves similar accuracy as the FP16 model but achieves 5.2x better efficiency.Our code is open-sourced at~\cite{code_compression}.