Self-Distillation: Towards Efficient and Compact Neural Networks

Linfeng Zhang, Chenglong Bao, Kaisheng Ma
2021 IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence  
Remarkable achievements have been obtained by deep neural networks in the last several years. However, the breakthrough in neural networks accuracy is always accompanied by explosive growth of computation and parameters, which leads to a severe limitation of model deployment. In this paper, we propose a novel knowledge distillation technique named self-distillation to address this problem. Self-distillation attaches several attention modules and shallow classifiers at different depths of neural
more » ... networks and distills knowledge from the deepest classifier to the shallower classifiers. Different from the conventional knowledge distillation methods where the knowledge of the teacher model is transferred to another student model, self-distillation can be considered as knowledge transfer in the same model - from the deeper layers to the shallow layers. Moreover, the additional classifiers in self-distillation allow the neural network to work in a dynamic manner, which leads to a much higher acceleration. Experiments demonstrate that self-distillation has consistent and significant effectiveness on various neural networks and datasets. On average, 3.49% and 2.32% accuracy boost are observed on CIFAR100 and ImageNet. Besides, experiments show that self-distillation can be combined with other model compression methods, including knowledge distillation, pruning and lightweight model design.
doi:10.1109/tpami.2021.3067100 pmid:33735074 fatcat:6cymqo72bbbchbcoyy76ih7jqq