High Throughput Synchronous Distributed Stochastic Gradient Descent
, and .
(2018)

We introduce a new, high-throughput, synchronous, distributed, data-parallel, stochastic-gradient-descent learning algorithm. This algorithm uses amortized inference in a compute-cluster-specific, deep, generative, dynamical model to perform joint posterior predictive inference of the mini-batch gradient computation times of all worker-nodes in a parallel computing cluster. We show that a synchronous parameter server can, by utilizing such a model, choose an optimal cutoff time beyond which mini-batch gradient messages from slow workers are ignored that maximizes overall mini-batch gradient computations per second. In keeping with earlier findings we observe that, under realistic conditions, eagerly discarding the mini-batch gradient computations of stragglers not only increases throughput but actually increases the overall rate of convergence as a function of wall-clock time by virtue of eliminating idleness. The principal novel contribution and finding of this work goes beyond this by demonstrating that using the predicted run-times from a generative model of cluster worker performance to dynamically adjust the cutoff improves substantially over the static-cutoff prior art, leading to, among other things, significantly reduced deep neural net training times on large computer clusters.
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