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An Open Source Machine Learning Library for Training Binarized Neural Networks

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Larq is an open source machine learning library for training Quantized Neural Networks (QNNs) with extremely low precision weights and activations (e.g. 1-bit). Existing Deep Neural Networks tend to be large, slow and power-hungry, prohibiting many applications in resource-constrained environments. Larq is designed to provide an easy to use, composable way to train QNNs (e.g. Binarized Neural Networks) based on the tf.keras interface.

Getting Started

To build a QNN Larq introduces the concept of Quantized Layers and Quantizers. A Quantizer defines the way of transforming a full precision input to a quantized output and the pseudo-gradient method used for the backwards pass. Each Quantized Layer requires a input_quantizer and kernel_quantizer that describes the way of quantizing the activation of the previous layer and the weights respectively. If both input_quantizer and kernel_quantizer are None the layer is equivalent to a full precision layer.

You can define a binarized densely-connected layer using the Straight-Through Estimator the following way:


This layer can be used inside a keras model or with a custom training loop.


Checkout our examples on how to train a Binarized Neural Network in just a few lines of code:


Before installing Larq, please install:

You can also checkout one of our prebuilt docker images.


You can install Larq with Python's pip package manager:

pip install larq

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