DearKD: Data-Efficient Early Knowledge Distillation for Vision Transformers [article]

Xianing Chen, Qiong Cao, Yujie Zhong, Jing Zhang, Shenghua Gao, Dacheng Tao
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Transformers are successfully applied to computer vision due to their powerful modeling capacity with self-attention. However, the excellent performance of transformers heavily depends on enormous training images. Thus, a data-efficient transformer solution is urgently needed. In this work, we propose an early knowledge distillation framework, which is termed as DearKD, to improve the data efficiency required by transformers. Our DearKD is a two-stage framework that first distills the inductive
more » ... biases from the early intermediate layers of a CNN and then gives the transformer full play by training without distillation. Further, our DearKD can be readily applied to the extreme data-free case where no real images are available. In this case, we propose a boundary-preserving intra-divergence loss based on DeepInversion to further close the performance gap against the full-data counterpart. Extensive experiments on ImageNet, partial ImageNet, data-free setting and other downstream tasks prove the superiority of DearKD over its baselines and state-of-the-art methods.
arXiv:2204.12997v2 fatcat:rralh5mgy5gwrjpp736ocov624