LEAPER: Fast and Accurate FPGA-based System Performance Prediction via Transfer Learning

by   Gagandeep Singh, et al.

Machine learning has recently gained traction as a way to overcome the slow accelerator generation and implementation process on an FPGA. It can be used to build performance and resource usage models that enable fast early-stage design space exploration. First, training requires large amounts of data (features extracted from design synthesis and implementation tools), which is cost-inefficient because of the time-consuming accelerator design and implementation process. Second, a model trained for a specific environment cannot predict performance or resource usage for a new, unknown environment. In a cloud system, renting a platform for data collection to build an ML model can significantly increase the total-cost-ownership (TCO) of a system. Third, ML-based models trained using a limited number of samples are prone to overfitting. To overcome these limitations, we propose LEAPER, a transfer learning-based approach for prediction of performance and resource usage in FPGA-based systems. The key idea of LEAPER is to transfer an ML-based performance and resource usage model trained for a low-end edge environment to a new, high-end cloud environment to provide fast and accurate predictions for accelerator implementation. Experimental results show that LEAPER (1) provides, on average across six workloads and five FPGAs, 85 transferred model for prediction in a cloud environment with 5-shot learning and (2) reduces design-space exploration time for accelerator implementation on an FPGA by 10x, from days to only a few hours.


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