Deep neural networks have become the standard approach to building reliable Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications, ranging from Neural Machine Translation (NMT) to dialogue systems. However, improving accuracy by increasing the model size requires a large number of hardware computations, which can slow down NLP applications significantly at inference time. To address this issue, we propose a novel vector-vector-matrix architecture (VVMA), which greatly reduces the latency at inference time for NMT. This architecture takes advantage of specialized hardware that has low-latency vector-vector operations and higher-latency vector-matrix operations. It also reduces the number of parameters and FLOPs for virtually all models that rely on efficient matrix multipliers without significantly impacting accuracy. We present empirical results suggesting that our framework can reduce the latency of sequence-to-sequence and Transformer models used for NMT by a factor of four. Finally, we show evidence suggesting that our VVMA extends to other domains, and we discuss novel hardware for its efficient use.
Stacking long short-term memory (LSTM) cells or gated recurrent units (GRUs) as part of a recurrent neural network (RNN) has become a standard approach to solving a number of tasks ranging from language modeling to text summarization. Although LSTMs and GRUs were designed to model long-range dependencies more accurately than conventional RNNs, they nevertheless have problems copying or recalling information from the long distant past. Here, we derive a phase-coded representation of the memory state, Rotational Unit of Memory (RUM), that unifies the concepts of unitary learning and associative memory. We show experimentally that RNNs based on RUMs can solve basic sequential tasks such as memory copying and memory recall much better than LSTMs/GRUs. We further demonstrate that by replacing LSTM/GRU with RUM units we can apply neural networks to real-world problems such as language modeling and text summarization, yielding results comparable to the state of the art.