AiluRus: A Scalable ViT Framework for Dense Prediction

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: vision transformer, dense prediction
Abstract: Vision transformers (ViTs) have emerged as a prevalent architecture for vision tasks owing to their impressive performance. However, their complexity dramatically increases when handling long token sequences, particularly for dense prediction tasks that require high-resolution input. Notably, dense prediction tasks, such as semantic segmentation or object detection, emphasize more on the contours or shapes of objects, while the texture inside objects is less informative. Motivated by this observation, we propose to apply adaptive resolution for different regions in the image according to their importance. Specifically, at the intermediate layer of the ViT, we select anchors from the token sequence using the proposed spatial-aware density-based clustering algorithm. Tokens that are adjacent to anchors are merged to form low-resolution regions, while others are preserved independently as high-resolution. This strategy could significantly reduce the number of tokens, and the following layers only handle the reduced token sequence for acceleration. At the output end, the resolution of the feature map is recovered by unfolding merged tokens for task prediction. Consequently, we can considerably accelerate ViTs for dense prediction tasks. The proposed method is evaluated across three different datasets and demonstrates promising performance. For instance, "Segmenter ViT-L" can be accelerated by 48\% FPS without fine-tuning, while maintaining the performance. Moreover, our method can also be applied to accelerate fine-tuning. Experiments indicate that we can save 52\% training time while accelerating 2.46$\times$ FPS with only a 0.09\% performance drop.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 895