DeltaCNN: End-to-End CNN Inference of Sparse Frame Differences in Videos

Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)


Convolutional neural network inference on video data requires powerful hardware for real-time processing. Given the inherent coherence across consecutive frames, large parts of a video typically change little. By skipping identical image regions and truncating insignificant pixel updates, computational redundancy can in theory be reduced significantly. However, these theoretical savings have been difficult to translate into practice, as sparse updates hamper computational consistency and memory access coherence; which are key for efficiency on real hardware. With DeltaCNN, we present a sparse convolutional neural network framework that enables sparse frame-by-frame updates to accelerate video inference in practice. We provide sparse implementations for all typical CNN layers and propagate sparse feature updates end-to-end – without accumulating errors over time. DeltaCNN is applicable to all convolutional neural networks without retraining. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to significantly outperform the dense reference, cuDNN, in practical settings, achieving speedups of up to 7x with only marginal differences in accuracy. Our CUDA kernels and PyTorch extensions can be found at

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