Given this context, it is curious to note that so much of what is published (again, especially on-line; think of titles such as: “The 10 Learning Algorithms Every Data Scientist Must Know”) and so many job listings emphasize- almost to the point of exclusivity- learning algorithms, as opposed to practical questions of data sampling, data preparation and enhancement, variable reduction, solving the business problem (instead of the technical one) or ability to deploy the final product.
Um ótimo paper de como o hardware vai exercer função crucial em alguns anos em relação à Core Machine Learning, em especial em sistemas embarcados.
Hardware for Machine Learning: Challenges and Opportunities
Abstract—Machine learning plays a critical role in extracting meaningful information out of the zetabytes of sensor data collected every day. For some applications, the goal is to analyze and understand the data to identify trends (e.g., surveillance, portable/wearable electronics); in other applications, the goal is to take immediate action based the data (e.g., robotics/drones, self-driving cars, smart Internet of Things). For many of these applications, local embedded processing near the sensor is preferred over the cloud due to privacy or latency concerns, or limitations in the communication bandwidth. However, at the sensor there are often stringent constraints on energy consumption and cost in addition to throughput and accuracy requirements. Furthermore, flexibility is often required such that the processing can be adapted for different applications or environments (e.g., update the weights and model in the classifier). In many applications, machine learning often involves transforming the input data into a higher dimensional space, which, along with programmable weights, increases data movement and consequently energy consumption. In this paper, we will discuss how these challenges can be addressed at various levels of hardware design ranging from architecture, hardware-friendly algorithms, mixed-signal circuits, and advanced technologies (including memories and sensors).
Conclusions: Machine learning is an important area of research with many promising applications and opportunities for innovation at various levels of hardware design. During the design process, it is important to balance the accuracy, energy, throughput and cost requirements. Since data movement dominates energy consumption, the primary focus of recent research has been to reduce the data movement while maintaining performance accuracy, throughput and cost. This means selecting architectures with favorable memory hierarchies like a spatial array, and developing dataflows that increase data reuse at the low-cost levels of the memory hierarchy. With joint design of algorithm and hardware, reduced bitwidth precision, increased sparsity and compression are used to minimize the data movement requirements. With mixed-signal circuit design and advanced technologies, computation is moved closer to the source by embedding computation near or within the sensor and the memories. One should also consider the interactions between these different levels. For instance, reducing the bitwidth through hardware-friendly algorithm design enables reduced precision processing with mixed-signal circuits and non-volatile memory. Reducing the cost of memory access with advanced technologies could result in more energy-efficient dataflows.