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Accelerate DIEN for Click-Through-Rate Prediction with OpenVINO™

July 27, 2023

Author: Xiake Sun, Cecilia Peng


A click-through rate (CTR) prediction model is designed to estimate how likely a user will click on an advertisement or item. Deployment of a CTR model is considered one of the core tasks in e-commerce, as its performance not only affects platform revenue but also influences customers’ online shopping experience.

Deep Interest Evolution Network (DIEN) developed by Alibaba Group aims to better predict customer’s CTR to improve the effectiveness of advertisement display. DIEN proposes the following two modules:

  • Temporally captures and extracts latent interests based on customer history behaviors.
  • Models an evolving process of user interests using GRU with an attentional update gate (AUGRU)
Figure 1: The structure of Deep Interest Evolution Network (DIEN)

Figure 1 shows the structure of DIEN, with the help of AUGRU, DIEN can overcome the disturbance from interest drifting, which improves the performance of CTR prediction largely in online advertising system.

DIEN Optimization with OpenVINOTM

Here we introduce DIEN optimization with OpenVINOTM in two aspects: graph level and dynamism runtime optimization.

Graph Level Optimization

Figure 2 shows the AUGRU subgraph of DIEN visualized in Netron.

Figure 2: AUGRU subgraph of DIEN visualized in Netron

OpenVINOTM implements internal operations AUGRUCell and AUGRUSequence for better graph-level optimization. Each decomposed subgraph of GRU and AUGRU is fused into a corresponding cell operator respectively. What's more, in case of static sequence length, the group of consecutive cells are further fused into a sequence operator. In case of dynamic sequence length, however, the sequence is processed with a loop of cells due to the limitation of oneDNN RNN primitive. This loop of cells is TensorIterator and (AU)GRUCell. We will introduce the optimizations of TensorIterator in next session.

Figure 3: Workflow of OpenVINOTM Operation TensorIterator

TensorIterator Runtime Optimization with Dynamic Shape

Before we dive into optimization details, let’s first checkout how OpenVINOTM TensorIterator operation works.

The TensorIterator layer performs recurrent execution of thenetwork, which is described in the body, iterating through the data. Figure 3 shows the workflow of OpenVINOTM Operation TensorIterator in a simplified view. For details, please refer to the specification.

Similar to other layers, TensorIterator has regular sections: input and output. It allows connecting TensorIterator to the rest of the IR. TensorIterator also has several special sections: body, port_map, back_edges. The principles of their work are described below.

  • body is a network that will be recurrently executed. The network is described layer by layer as a typical IR network.
  • port_map is a set of rules to map input or output data tensors of TensorIterator layer onto body data tensors. The port_map entries can be input and output. Each entry describes a corresponding mapping rule.
  • back_edges is a set of rules to transfer tensor values from body outputs at one iteration to body parameters at the next iteration. Back edge connects some Result layers in body to Parameter layer in the same body.

If output entry in the Port map doesn’t have partitioning (axis, begin, end, strides) attributes, then the final value of output of TensorIterator is the value of Result node from the last iteration. Otherwise, the final value of output of TensorIterator is a concatenation of tensors in the Result node for all body iterations.

We use Intel® VTune™ Profiler to run benchmark_app with DIEN FP32 IR model on Intel® Xeon® Gold 6252N Processor for performance profiling.

Cache internal reorder primitives in TensorIterator

Figure 4: PrepareDynamicBackEdges hotspot visualized in Vtune

Figure 4 shows that TensorIterator::prepareDynamicBackEdges() spends nearly 45% CPU time to create the reorder primitives. DIEN FP32 model has 2 TensorIterator, eachTensorIterator runs 100 iterations in body with the same input/output shape regarding the current batch. Besides, each TensorIterator has 7 back edges, which means the reorder primitive are frequently created.

So, we propose to cache internal reorder primitive in TensorIterator to optimize back edge memory copy logic. With this optimization, the performance with dynamic shape can be improved by 8x times.

Memory allocation and reuse optimization in TensorIterator

As Figure 3 shows, if we have split input as nth piece to loop in body, at the end, the outputs of TensorIterator will be a concatenation of tensors in the Result node for all body iterations, which can lead to performance overhead. Based on previous optimization we re-run performance profiling using benchmark_app with DIEN FP32 IR model on Intel® Xeon® Gold 6252N Processor as showed in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Memory allocation hotspot visualized in Vtune

CPU plugin TensorIterator supports both two operators - TensorIterator and Loop. The outputs of each iteration could be concatenated and return to users. Since the output size is not always known before the execution, the legacy implementation is to dynamically allocate the concatenated output buffer.

We propose two points from the memory allocation standpoint:

  • In the case of TensorIterator number of iterations is determined by the size of the axis we are slicing. So, if TensorIterator body one ach iteration will produce the same shape on output we can easily preallocate enough memory before the TI computation, The same for Loop with trip count input - we can just read the value from this input, make shape inference for the body and this determines the required amount of memory.
  • More complicated story is when we don't know exact number of iterations before Loop inference (e.g., number of iterations is determined by ExecutionCondition input). In that case do the following: let’s have an output buffer where we put the Loop output. Once the buffer doesn't have enough space, we reallocate it on new size based on a simple and effective dynamic array algorithm.

OpenVINOTM implemented memory allocation and reuse optimization in TensorIterator to significantly reduce the number of reallocations and not to allocate to much memory at the same time. Experiments show that performance can be further improved by more than 20%.


Clone demo repository:

git clone https://github.com/sammysun0711/dien_openvino_demo.git

Prepare Amazon dataset:

cd dien_openvino_demo
sh prepare_dataset.sh

Setup Python Environment:

pip install openvino openvino-dev[tensorflow]

Convert original TensorFlow model to OpenVINOTM FP32 IR:

mo --input_meta_graph dnn_best_model_trained/ckpt_noshuffDIEN3.meta \
   --input "Inputs/mid_his_batch_ph[-1,-1],Inputs/cat_his_batch_ph[-1,-1],Inputs/uid_batch_ph[-1],Inputs/mid_batch_ph[-1],Inputs/cat_batch_ph[-1],Inputs/mask[-1,-1],Inputs/seq_len_ph[-1]" \
   --output dien/fcn/Softmax --model_name DIEN -o openvino/FP32 --compress_to_fp16=False

Run the Benchmark with TensorFlow backend:

./infer.sh tensorflow

Run the Benchmark with OpenVINOTM backend using FP32 inference precision:

./infer.sh openvino f32

Run the Benchmark with OpenVINOTM backend using BF16 inference precision:

./infer.sh openvino bf16

Please note, Xeon native supports BF16 infer precision since 4th Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors. Running BF16 on a legacy Xeon platform may lead to performance degradation.


In this blog, we introduce inference optimization of DIEN recommendation model with OpenVINOTM runtime as follows:

  • For static input sequence length, AUGRU subgraph will be decomposed and fused as AUGRU and AUGRUSequence OpenVINOTM internal operation.
  • For dynamic input sequence length, we propose cache internal reorder primitives and memory allocation and re-use optimization in TensorIterator.
  • Provide a demo for model enabling and efficient inference of DIEN with OpenVINOTM runtime.


Deep Interest Evolution Network (DIEN)

OpenVINO TensorIterator Operation Specification

Alibaba DIEN AI Boosts E-Commerce Ad Effectiveness


Enable chatGLM by creating OpenVINO™ stateful model and runtime pipeline

July 3, 2023

Authors: Zhen Zhao(Fiona), Cheng Luo, Tingqian Li, Wenyi Zou


Since the Large Language Models (LLMs) become the hot topic, a lot Chinese language models have been developed and actively deployed in optimization platforms. chatGLM is one of the popular Chinese LLMs which are widely been evaluated. However, ChatGLM model is not yet a native model in Transformers, which means there remains support gap in official optimum. In this blog, we provide a quick workaround to re-construct the model structure by OpenVINO™ opset contains custom optimized nodes for chatGLM specifically and these nodes has been highly optimized by AMX intrinsic and MHA fusion.

*Please note, this blog only introduces a workaround of optimization method by creating OpenVINO™ stateful model for chatGLM.  This workaround has limitation of platform, which requires to use Intel® 4th Xeon Sapphire Rapids with AMX optimization. We do not promise the maintenance of this workaround.

Source link: https://github.com/luo-cheng2021/openvino/tree/luocheng/chatglm_custom/tools/gpt

To support more LLMs, including llama, chatglm2, gpt-neox/dolly, gpt-j and falcon. You can refer this link which not limited on SPR platform, also can compute from Core to Xeon:

Source link: https://github.com/luo-cheng2021/ov.cpu.llm.experimental

ChatGLM model brief

If we check with original model source of chatGLM, we can find that the ChatGLM is not compatible with Optimum ModelForCasualML, it defines the new class ChatGLMForConditionalGeneration. This model has 3 main modules (embedding, GLMBlock layers and lm_logits) during the pipeline loop, the structure is like below:

Model structure of chatGLM

As you can see, the whole pipeline actually require model with two different graphs, the first-time inference with input prompt tokens do not require KV cache as inputs for GLMBlock layers. Since the second iteration, the previous results of QKV Attention should become the inputs of current round model inference. Along with the length of generated token increased, there will remain a lot of large sized memory copies between model inputs and outputs during pipeline inference.  We can use ChatGLM6b default model configurations as an example, the memory copies between input and output arrays are like below pseudocode:

while(eos_token_id || max_seq_len){
    memcpy(model_inp, model_outp, num_layer*2*sizeof(model_outp)* hidden_size)

Therefore, two topics is the most important:

  • How we can optimize model inference pipeline to eliminate memory copy between model inputs and outputs
  • How we can put optimization efforts on GLMBlock module by reinvent execution graph

Extremely optimization by OpenVINO™ stateful model

Firstly, we need to analyze the structure of GLMBlock layer, and try to encapsulate a class to invoke OpenVINO™ opset with below workflow. Then serialize the graph to IR model(.xml, .bin).

Build OpenVINO™ stateful model for chatGLM

To build an OpenVINO™ stateful model, you can refer to this document to learn.


OpenVINO™ also provide model creation sample to show how to build a model by opset.


It is clear to show that the emphasized optimization block is the custom op of Attention for chatGLM. The main idea is to build up a global context to store and update pastKV results internally, and then use intrinsic optimization for Rotary Embedding and Multi-Head Attentions. In this blog, we provide an optimized the attention structure of chatGLM with AMX intrinsic operators.

At the same time, we use int8 to compress the weights of the Fully Connected layer, you are not required to compress the model by Post Training Quantization (PTQ) or process with framework for Quantization Aware Training(QAT).

Create OpenVINO™ stateful model for chatGLM

Please prepare your hardware and software environment like below and follow the steps to optimize the chatGLM:

Hardware requirements

Intel® 4th Xeon platform(codename Sapphire Rapids) and above

Software Validation Environment

Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS

python 3.10.11 for OpenVINO™ Runtime Python API

GCC 11.3.0 to build OpenVINO™ Runtime

cmake 3.26.4

Building OpenVINO™ Source

  • Install system dependency and setup environment
  • Create and enable python virtual environment

$ conda create -n ov_py310 python=3.10 -y
$ conda activate ov_py310

  • Install python dependency

$ pip install protobuf transformers==4.30.2 cpm_kernels torch>=2.0 sentencepiece pandas

  • Build OpenVINO™ with GCC 11.3.0
  • Clone OpenVINO™ and update submodule

$ git clone https://github.com/luo-cheng2021/openvino.git -b luocheng/chatglm_custom
$ cd openvino && git submodule update --init --recursive

  • Install python dependency for building python wheels

$ python -m pip install -U pip 
$ python -m pip install -r ./src/bindings/python/src/compatibility/openvino/requirements-dev.txt
$ python -m pip install -r ./src/bindings/python/wheel/requirements-dev.txt

  • Create build directory

$ mkdir build && cd build

  • Build OpenVINO™ with CMake

$ cmake .. -DENABLE_LLMDNN=ON \
    -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`pwd`/install \
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH=`pwd`/install/runtime/3rdparty/tbb/lib:`pwd`/install/runtime/3rdparty/hddl/lib:`pwd`/install/runtime/lib/intel64 \
$ make --jobs=$(nproc --all)
$ make install

  • Install built python wheel for OpenVINO™ runtime and openvino-dev tools

$ pip install ./install/tools/openvino*.whl

  • Check system gcc version and conda runtime gcc version. If the system gcc version is higher than conda gcc version like below, you should update conda gcc version for OpenVINO runtime. (Optional)

##check system (OpenVINO compiling env) gcc version
$ gcc --version
gcc (Ubuntu 11.3.0-1ubuntu1~22.04.1) 11.3.0

##check conda python (runtime env for OpenVINO later) gcc version
$ python
Python 3.10.11 (main, May 16 2023, 00:28:57) [GCC 11.2.0] on linux

##If sys gcc ver > conda gcc ver, upgrade conda gcc ver -> sys gcc ver
$ conda install -c conda-forge gcc=11.3.0

  • convert pytorch model to OpenVINO™ IR

$ cd ..
$ python tools/gpt/gen_chatglm.py /path/to/pytorch/model /path/to/ov/IR

Use OpenVINO Runtime API to build Inference pipeline for chatGLM  

We provide a demo by using transformers and OpenVINO™ runtime API to build the inference pipeline. In test_chatglm.py, we create a new class which inherit from transformers.PreTrainedModel. And we update the forward function by build up model inference pipeline with OpenVINO™ runtime Python API. Other member functions are migrated from ChatGLMForConditionalGeneration from modeling_chatglm.py, so that, we can make sure the input preparation work, set_random_seed, tokenizer/detokenizer and left pipelined operation can be totally same as original model source.

To enable the int8 weights compress, you just need a simple environment variable USE_INT8_WEIGHT=1. That is because during the model generation, we use int8 to compress the weights of the Fully Connected layer, and then it can use int8 weights to inference on runtime, you are not required to compress the model by framework or quantization tools.

Please follow below steps to test the chatGLM with OpenVINO™ runtime pipeline:

  • Run bf16 model

$ python3  tools/gpt/test_chatglm.py /path/to/pytorch/model /path/to/ov/IR --use=ov

  • Run int8 model

$ USE_INT8_WEIGHT=1 python test_chatglm.py /path/to/pytorch/model /path/to/ov/IR --use=ov

Weights compression reduces memory bandwidth utilization to improve inference speed

We use VTune for performance comparison analysis of model weights bf16 and int8. Comparative analysis of memory bandwidth and CPI rate (Table 1). When model weight is compressed to int8, it can reduce memory bandwidth utilization and CPI rate.

Memory Bandwidth Utilization when model weight precision is bf16
Memory Bandwidth Utilization when model weight precision is int8
Table 1. CPI Rate for different model weight precision

Clockticks per Instructions Retired(CPI) event ratio, also known as Cycles per Instructions, is one of the basic performance metrics for the hardware event-based sampling collection, also known as Performance Monitoring Counter (PMC) analysis in the sampling mode. This ratio is calculated by dividing the number of unhalted processor cycles(Clockticks) by the number of instructions retired. On each processor the exact events used to count clockticks and instructions retired may be different, but VTune Profiler knows the correct ones to use.

A CPI < 1 is typical for instruction bound code, while a CPI > 1 may show up for a stall cycle bound application, also likely memory bound.


Along with the upgrading of OpenVINO™ main branch, the optimization work in this workaround will be generalized and integrated into official release. It will be helpful to scale more LLMs model usage. Please refer OpenVINO™ official release and Optimum-intel OpenVINO™ backend to get official and efficient support for LLMs.