Aditya Kusupati

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For the Summer 2020, I am a Research Scientist Intern at NVIDIA Toronto AI Lab with Sanja Fidler and Antonio Torralba.

I am a CS PhD student at University of Washington jointly advised by Ali Farhadi and Sham Kakade. My broad research interests at the moment lie in the intersection of Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Robotics (Multimodal Perception, shh! it is a secret).

Before coming here, I spent two amazing years as a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research India with Manik Varma and Prateek Jain working on "The Extremes of Machine Learning". In a past life, I earned a Bachelor's in CS with Honours and a Minor in EE from IIT Bombay where I had the pleasure of working with Soumen Chakrabarti on geometric embeddings for Entity Typing.

  • Our BuildSys '19 paper won the Best Paper Runner-Up Award and is invited to TOSN!! - Article in Allen School News.
  • Best reviewer (top 400) award for NeurIPS '19!
  • EdgeML revamped for the next (v3) release. TF 1.x and PyTorch support including CUDA optimized FastGRNN!
  • Accepted CS PhD offer at University of Washington. Time to Se(a)ttle (Settle in Seattle. I am sorry.)!
* - equal contribution

[NEW] In the Wild: From ML Models to Pragmatic ML Systems
Matthew Wallingford, Aditya Kusupati*, Keivan Alizadeh-Vahid*,
Aaron Walsman, Aniruddha Kembhavi and Ali Farhadi
Under Review, 2020

abstract / bibtex / pdf / arXiv / code / project page

Enabling robust intelligence in the wild entails learning systems that offer uninterrupted inference while affording sustained training, with varying amounts of data and supervision. Such a pragmatic ML system should be able to cope with the openness and flexibility inherent in the real world. The machine learning community has organically broken down this challenging task into manageable sub tasks such as supervised, few-shot, continual, and self-supervised learning; each affording distinctive challenges and leading to unique set of dedicated methods. Notwithstanding this amazing progress, the restricted and isolated nature of these settings has resulted in methods that excel in one setting and struggle to extend beyond them. To foster the research required to extend ML models to ML systems, we introduce a unified learning and evaluation framework - iN thE wilD (NED). NED is designed to be an all encompassing paradigm by loosening the restrictive design decisions of past settings (e.g. closed-world assumption) and imposing fewer restrictions on learning algorithms (e.g. predefined train and test phases). The learners can infer these experimental parameters themselves by optimizing for the best tradeoff between accuracy and compute. In NED, a learner faces a stream of data and must make sequential predictions while choosing how to update itself, adapt to data from novel categories, and deal with changing data distributions; while optimizing the total amount of compute. We evaluate a large set of existing methods across several sub fields using NED and present surprising yet revealing findings about modern day techniques. For instance, prominent few shot methods break down in NED, achieving dramatic drops of over 40% accuracy relative to simple baselines; and SOTA self-supervised methods such as Momentum Contrast obtain 35% lower accuracy than supervised pretraining on novel classes. We also show that a simple baseline outperforms existing methods on NED. Code is available at

  author    = {Wallingford, Matthew and Kusupati, Aditya 
    and Alizadeh-Vahid, Keivan and Walsman, Aaron and 
    Kembhavi, Aniruddha and Farhadi, Ali},
  title     = {In the Wild: 
    From ML Models to Pragmatic ML Systems},
  booktitle = {arXiv preprint arXiv:2007.02519},
  year      = {2020},

RNNPool: Efficient Non-linear Pooling for
RAM Constrained Inference

Oindrila Saha, Aditya Kusupati, Harsha Vardhan Simhadri,
Manik Varma and Prateek Jain
Under Review, 2020

abstract / bibtex / pdf / arXiv / code
Also presented at the WiCV workshop @ CVPR, 2020

Pooling operators are key components in most Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) as they serve to downsample images, aggregate feature information, and increase receptive field. However, standard pooling operators reduce the feature size gradually to avoid significant loss in information via gross aggregation. Consequently, CNN architectures tend to be deep, computationally expensive and challenging to deploy on RAM constrained devices. We introduce RNNPool, a novel pooling operator based on Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), that efficiently aggregate features over large patches of an image and rapidly downsamples its size. Our empirical evaluation indicates that an RNNPool layer(s) can effectively replace multiple blocks in a variety of architectures such as MobileNets (Sandler et al., 2018), DenseNet (Huang et al., 2017) and can be used for several vision tasks like image classification and face detection. That is, RNNPool can significantly decrease computational complexity and peak RAM usage for inference, while retaining comparable accuracy. Further, we use RNNPool to construct a novel real-time face detection method that achieves state-of-the-art MAP within computational budget afforded by a tiny Cortex M4 microcontroller with ~256 KB RAM.

  author    = {Saha, Oindrila and Kusupati, Aditya and 
    Simhadri, Harsha Vardhan and Varma, Manik and 
    Jain, Prateek},
  title     = {RNNPool: Efficient Non-linear Pooling 
    for RAM Constrained Inference},
  booktitle = {arXiv preprint arXiv:2002.11921},
  year      = {2020},
  Conference Publications

Soft Threshold Weight Reparameterization for
Learnable Sparsity

Aditya Kusupati, Vivek Ramanujan*, Raghav Somani*, Mitchell Wortsman*, Prateek Jain, Sham Kakade and Ali Farhadi
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2020

Virtual Talk
abstract / bibtex / pdf / reviews / arXiv / code / video

Sparsity in Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) is studied extensively with the focus of maximizing prediction accuracy given an overall parameter budget. Existing methods rely on uniform or heuristic non-uniform sparsity budgets which have sub-optimal layer-wise parameter allocation resulting in a) lower prediction accuracy or b) higher inference cost (FLOPs). This work proposes Soft Threshold Reparameterization (STR), a novel use of the soft-threshold operator on DNN weights. STR smoothly induces sparsity while learning pruning thresholds thereby obtaining a non-uniform sparsity budget. Our method achieves state-of-the-art accuracy for unstructured sparsity in CNNs (ResNet50 and MobileNetV1 on ImageNet-1K), and, additionally, learns non-uniform budgets that empirically reduce the FLOPs by up to 50%. Notably, STR boosts the accuracy over existing results by up to 10% in the ultra sparse (99%) regime and can also be used to induce low-rank (structured sparsity) in RNNs. In short, STR is a simple mechanism which learns effective sparsity budgets that contrast with popular heuristics. Code, pretrained models and sparsity budgets are at

  author    = {Kusupati, Aditya and Ramanujan, Vivek and
    Somani, Raghav and Wortsman, Mitchell and 
    Jain, Prateek and Kakade, Sham and Farhadi, Ali},
  title     = {Soft Threshold Weight Reparameterization 
    for Learnable Sparsity},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the International 
    Conference on Machine Learning},
  month     = {July},
  year      = {2020},

Extreme Regression for Dynamic Search Advertising
Yashoteja Prabhu, Aditya Kusupati, Nilesh Gupta and Manik Varma
International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM), 2020

Long Oral presentation
abstract / bibtex / pdf / reviews / arXiv / code / poster / XML Repository
Also presented at the Workshop on eXtreme Classification: Theory and Applications @ ICML, 2020

This paper introduces a new learning paradigm called eXtreme Regression (XR) whose objective is to accurately predict the numerical degrees of relevance of an extremely large number of labels to a data point. XR can provide elegant solutions to many large-scale ranking and recommendation applications including Dynamic Search Advertising (DSA). XR can learn more accurate models than the recently popular extreme classifiers which incorrectly assume strictly binary-valued label relevances. Traditional regression metrics which sum the errors over all the labels are unsuitable for XR problems since they could give extremely loose bounds for the label ranking quality. Also, the existing regression algorithms won't efficiently scale to millions of labels. This paper addresses these limitations through: (1) new evaluation metrics for XR which sum only the k largest regression errors; (2) a new algorithm called XReg which decomposes XR task into a hierarchy of much smaller regression problems thus leading to highly efficient training and prediction. This paper also introduces a (3) new labelwise prediction algorithm in XReg useful for DSA and other recommendation tasks.
Experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrated that XReg can outperform the state-of-the-art extreme classifiers as well as large-scale regressors and rankers by up to 50% reduction in the new XR error metric, and up to 2% and 2.4% improvements in terms of the propensity-scored precision metric used in extreme classification and the click-through rate metric used in DSA respectively. Deployment of XReg on DSA in Bing resulted in a relative gain of 58% in revenue and 27% in query coverage. XReg's source code can be downloaded from

  author    = {Prabhu, Prabhu and Kusupati, Aditya and 
    Gupta, Nilesh and Varma, Manik},
  title     = {Extreme Regression for Dynamic 
    Search Advertising},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM International 
    Conference on Web Search and Data Mining},
  month     = {February},
  year      = {2020},

One Size Does Not Fit All: Multi-Scale, Cascaded RNNs for Radar Classification
Dhrubojyoti Roy*, Sangeeta Srivastava*, Aditya Kusupati, Pranshu Jain, Manik Varma and Anish Arora
International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys), 2019

Oral presentation 🏆 Best Paper Runner-Up Award
abstract / bibtex / pdf / reviews / arXiv / code / poster / dataset / blog
Invited Paper in ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN)

Edge sensing with micro-power pulse-Doppler radars is an emergent domain in monitoring and surveillance with several smart city applications. Existing solutions for the clutter versus multi-source radar classification task are limited in terms of either accuracy or efficiency, and in some cases, struggle with a trade-off between false alarms and recall of sources. We find that this problem can be resolved by learning the classifier across multiple time-scales. We propose a multi-scale, cascaded recurrent neural network architecture, MSC-RNN, comprised of an efficient multi-instance learning (MIL) Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) for clutter discrimination at a lower tier, and a more complex RNN classifier for source classification at the upper tier. By controlling the invocation of the upper RNN with the help of the lower tier conditionally, MSC-RNN achieves an overall accuracy of 0.972. Our approach holistically improves the accuracy and per-class recalls over machine learning models suitable for radar inferencing. Notably, we outperform cross-domain handcrafted feature engineering with purely time-domain deep feature learning, while also being up to ~3x more efficient than a competitive solution.

  author    = {Roy, Dhrubojyoti and Srivastava, Sangeeta 
    and Kusupati, Aditya and Jain, Pranshu and 
    Varma, Manik and Arora, Anish},
  title     = {One Size Does Not Fit All: 
    Multi-Scale, Cascaded RNNs for 
    Radar Classification},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM International 
    Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient 
    Buildings, Cities, and Transportation},
  month     = {November},
  year      = {2019},

FastGRNN: A Fast, Accurate, Stable and Tiny Kilobyte Sized Gated Recurrent Neural Network
Aditya Kusupati, Manish Singh, Kush Bhatia, Ashish Kumar, Prateek Jain and Manik Varma
Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), 2018

abstract / bibtex / pdf / reviews / arXiv / code / video / poster / datasets / blog

This paper develops the FastRNN and FastGRNN algorithms to address the twin RNN limitations of inaccurate training and inefficient prediction. Previous approaches have improved accuracy at the expense of prediction costs making them infeasible for resource-constrained and real-time applications. Unitary RNNs have increased accuracy somewhat by restricting the range of the state transition matrix's singular values but have also increased the model size as they require a larger number of hidden units to make up for the loss in expressive power. Gated RNNs have obtained state-of-the-art accuracies by adding extra parameters thereby resulting in even larger models. FastRNN addresses these limitations by adding a residual connection that does not constrain the range of the singular values explicitly and has only two extra scalar parameters. FastGRNN then extends the residual connection to a gate by reusing the RNN matrices to match state-of-the-art gated RNN accuracies but with a 2-4x smaller model. Enforcing FastGRNN's matrices to be low-rank, sparse and quantized resulted in accurate models that could be up to 35x smaller than leading gated and unitary RNNs. This allowed FastGRNN to accurately recognize the "Hey Cortana" wakeword with a 1 KB model and to be deployed on severely resource-constrained IoT microcontrollers too tiny to store other RNN models. FastGRNN's code is available at

  author    = {Kusupati, Aditya and Singh, Manish and 
    Bhatia, Kush and Kumar, Ashish and 
    Jain, Prateek and Varma, Manik},
  title     = {{FastGRNN}: A Fast, Accurate, 
    Stable and Tiny Kilobyte Sized 
    Gated Recurrent Neural Network.},
  booktitle = {Advances in 
    Neural Information Processing Systems},
  month     = {December},
  year      = {2018},

Radar for MSC-RNN demo

Lightweight, Deep RNNs for Radar Classification
Dhrubojyoti Roy*, Sangeeta Srivastava*, Pranshu Jain, Aditya Kusupati, Manik Varma and Anish Arora
International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys), 2019

abstract / bibtex / pdf

We demonstrate Multi-Scale, Cascaded RNN (MSC-RNN), an energy-efficient recurrent neural network for real-time micro-power radar classification. Its two-tier architecture is jointly trained to reject clutter and discriminate displacing sources at different time-scales, with a lighter lower tier running continuously and a heavier upper tier invoked infrequently on an on-demand basis. It offers for single microcontroller devices a better trade-off in accuracy and efficiency, as well as in clutter suppression and detectability, over competitive shallow and deep alternatives.

  author    = {Roy, Dhrubojyoti and Srivastava, Sangeeta 
    and Jain, Pranshu and Kusupati, Aditya and 
    Varma, Manik and Arora, Anish},
  title     = {Lightweight, Deep RNNs 
    for Radar Classification},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM International 
    Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient 
    Buildings, Cities, and Transportation},
  month     = {November},
  year      = {2019},

geometric embeddings

Efficient Spatial Representation for Entity-Typing
Anand Dhoot*, Aditya Kusupati* and Soumen Chakrabarti
Undergraduate Thesis, CSE IIT Bombay, 2016-17

abstract / bibtex / pdf

The project aims at creating a efficient spatial embeddings for entities and types which would be useful for various downstream tasks such as Knowledge Base Completion, Fine-Type Tagging and Question Answering.

  author = {Dhoot, Anand and Kusupati, Aditya 
    and Chakrabarti, Soumen},
  title = {Efficient Spatial Representation 
    for Entity-Typing},
  booktitle = {Undergraduate Thesis, CSE IIT Bombay},
  year = {2016-17},


EdgeML: Machine Learning for resource-constrained edge devices
Work of many amazing collaborators. I was one of the initial and primary contributors.
Github, Microsoft Research India, 2017-present.

abstract / bibtex

Open source repository for all the research outputs on resource efficient Machine Learning from Microsoft Research India. It contains scalable and multi-framework compatible implementations of Bonsai, ProtoNN, FastCells, EMI-RNN, ShaRNN, RNNPool, DROCC, a tool named SeeDot for fixed-point compilation of ML models along with applications such as on-device Keyword spotting and Gesturepod.
EdgeML is under MIT license and is open to contributions and suggestions. Please cite the software if you happen to use EdgeML in your research or otherwise (use the latest bibtex from the repository in case this gets outdated)

    author = {{Dennis, Don Kurian and Gaurkar, Yash and 
      Gopinath, Sridhar and Gupta, Chirag and
      Jain, Moksh and Kumar, Ashish and
      Kusupati, Aditya and Lovett, Chris and
      Patil, Shishir Girish and Simhadri, Harsha Vardhan}},
    title = {{EdgeML: Machine Learning 
      for resource-constrained edge devices}},
    url = {},
    version = {0.3},

CS226/254: Digital Logic Design + Lab - Spring '17, IIT Bombay

CS251: Software Systems Lab - Fall '16, IIT Bombay

CS226/254: Digital Logic Design + Lab - Spring '16, IIT Bombay

CS101: Computer Programming and Utilisation - Fall '15, IIT Bombay

CS101: Computer Programming and Utilisation - Spring '15, IIT Bombay

  • Soft Threshold Weight Reparameterization for Learnable Sparsity
    • International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) (July '20)
    • NVIDIA Research (July '20)
    • Deep Learning: Classics and Trends (June '20)
  • The Edge of Machine Learning
    • University of Washington Sensor Systems Seminar (October '19)
    • University of Washington CSE Colloquium (October '19)
    • VGG @ Oxford University, UK on (April '19)
    • Microsoft Research Redmond (March '19)
    • Microsoft Research India (August '18)
  • The Extremes of Machine Learning
    • Microsoft Bing Bellevue (March '19)
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