AI recommenders get better as they get bigger. Several models have been previously released with billion parameters up to even trillion very recently. Every jump in the model capacity has brought in significant improvement on quality. The era of 100 trillion parameters is just around the corner.
Complicated, dense rest neural network is increasingly computation-intensive with more than 100 TFLOPs in each training iteration. Thus, it is important to have some sophisticated mechanism to manage a cluster with heterogeneous resources for such training tasks.
Recently, Kwai Seattle AI Lab and DS3 Lab from ETH Zurich have collaborated to propose a novel system named “Persia” to tackle this problem through careful co-design of both the training algorithm and the training system. At the algorithm level, Persia adopts a hybrid training algorithm to handle the embedding layer and dense neural network modules differently. The embedding layer is trained asynchronously to improve the throughput of training samples, while the rest neural network is trained synchronously to preserve statistical efficiency. At the system level, a wide range of system optimizations for memory management and communication reduction have been implemented to unleash the full potential of the hybrid algorithm.
Cloud Resources for 100 Trillion Parameter AI Models
Persia 100 trillion parameter AI workload runs on the following heterogeneous resources:
3,000 cores of compute-intensive Virtual Machines
8 A2 Virtual Machines adding a total of 64 A100 Nvidia GPUs
30 High Memory Virtual Machines, each with 12 TB of RAM, totalling 360 TB
Orchestration with Kubernetes
All resources had to be launched concurrently in the same zone to minimize network latency. Google Cloud was able to provide the required capacity with very little notice.
AI Training needs resources in bursts.
Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) was utilized to orchestrate the deployment of the 138 VMs and software containers. Having the workload containerized also allows for porting and repeatability of the training.
Results and Conclusions
With the support of the Google Cloud infrastructure, the team demonstrated Persia’s scalability up to 100 trillion parameters. The hybrid distributed training algorithm introduced elaborate system relaxations for efficient utilization of heterogeneous clusters, while converging as fast as vanilla SGD. Google Cloud was essential to overcome the limitations of on-premise hardware and proved an optimal computing environment for distributed Machine Learning training on a massive scale.
Persia has been released as an open source project on github with setup instructions for Google Cloud —everyone from both academia and industry would find it easy to train 100-trillion-parameter scale, deep learning recommender models.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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