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It’s a tradeoff allowing you to fit a larger model into a fixed RAM budget (ie the size of your GPU). Whether this is a good tradeoff is model- and data-specific, but anecdotally I’ve had good luck with it and usually use half precision to good effect (NLP, mostly).


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Yes, you can fix (or freeze) some of the weights during the training of a neural network. In fact, this is done in the most common form of transfer learning (which is described here). I don't know exactly how this affects learning in general. In transfer learning, this is definitely beneficial, as we are freezing the weights that are associated with the ...


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