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From Alex Zai <aza...@gmail.com>
Subject Include MKLDNN into default mxnet pip package
Date Wed, 17 Oct 2018 21:10:04 GMT
Hey all,
We have been working hard these past few months to integrate and stabilize
Intel’s MKLDNN deep learning CPU accelerator into Mxnet and have made
incredible progress. On CPUs with AVX512 instructions (such as c5.18x) we
have seen performance increase up to 12x and on other platforms (Macs,
AVX2) we seen a speedup of 1.5+. Full list of benchmarks can be found here (
https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=95650764
 and https://github.com/apache/incubator-mxnet/pull/12591).

Currently, using this accelerator requires the developer to either pip
install the mxnet-mkl version of mxnet or to build it themselves from
source. Given that we should try to provide the best performance "out of
the box” with mxnet we should include this in the default build. The mkldnn
library is included with in the pip package build so it does not require an
external dependency.

There were concerns that MKLDNN could cause regressions on certain
platforms (as it did with the tensorflow version a while back); but we
added a env flag (MXNET_MKLDNN_ENABLED) that allows users to turn of this
feature during runtime. Please bring up any other concerns you may have and
your thoughts on including this accelerator in the default build.

Best,
Alex

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