Routers in Vision Mixture of Experts: An Empirical Study

Published: 26 Apr 2024, Last Modified: 26 Apr 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) models are a promising way to scale up model capacity without significantly increasing computational cost. A key component of MoEs is the router, which decides which subset of parameters (experts) process which feature embeddings (tokens). In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of routers in MoEs for computer vision tasks. We introduce a unified MoE formulation that subsumes different MoEs with two parametric routing tensors. This formulation covers both sparse MoE, which uses a binary or hard assignment between experts and tokens, and soft MoE, which uses a soft assignment between experts and weighted combinations of tokens. Routers for sparse MoEs can be further grouped into two variants: Token Choice, which matches experts to each token, and Expert Choice, which matches tokens to each expert. We conduct head-to-head experiments with 6 different routers, including existing routers from prior work and new ones we introduce. We show that (i) many routers originally developed for language modeling can be adapted to perform strongly in vision tasks, (ii) in sparse MoE, Expert Choice routers generally outperform Token Choice routers, and (iii) soft MoEs generally outperform sparse MoEs with a fixed compute budget. These results provide new insights regarding the crucial role of routers in vision MoE models.
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Yunhe_Wang1
Submission Number: 2126