ACCURACY EVALUATION OF DEEP BELIEF NETWORKS WITH FIXED-POINT ARITHMETIC
Jingfei Jiang1, Rongdong Hu1, Lujάn Mikel2, Yong Dou1
1Science and Technology on Parallel and Distributed Processing Laboratory, National University of Defense Technology, ChangSha, Hunan 410073, China
2University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Deep Belief Networks (DBNs) are state-of-art Machine Learning techniques and one of the most important unsupervised learning algorithms. Training DBNs is computationally intensive which naturally leads to investigate FPGA acceleration. Fixed-point arithmetic can be used when implementing DBNs in FPGAs to reduce execution time, but it is not clear the implications for accuracy. Previous studies have focused only on accelerators using some fixed bit-widths. A contribution of this paper is to demonstrate the bit-width effect on various configurations of DBNs in a comprehensive way by experimental evaluation. Explicit performance changing points are found using various bit-widths. The impact of sigmoid function approximation, required part of DBNs, is evaluated. A solution of mixed bit-widths DBN is proposed, fitting the bit-widths of FPGA primitives and gaining similar performance to the software implementation. Our results provide a guide to inform the design choices on bit-widths when implementing DBNs in FPGAs documenting clearly the trade-off in accuracy.