QDrop: Randomly Dropping Quantization for Extremely Low-bit Post-Training QuantizationDownload PDF

Published: 28 Jan 2022, Last Modified: 22 Oct 2023ICLR 2022 PosterReaders: Everyone
Abstract: Recently, post-training quantization (PTQ) has driven much attention to produce efficient neural networks without long-time retraining. Despite the low cost, current PTQ works always fail under the extremely low-bit setting. In this study, we pioneeringly confirm that properly incorporating activation quantization into the PTQ reconstruction benefits the final accuracy. To deeply understand the inherent reason, a theoretical framework is established, which inspires us that the flatness of the optimized low-bit model on calibration and test data is crucial. Based on the conclusion, a simple yet effective approach dubbed as \textsc{QDrop} is proposed, which randomly drops the quantization of activations during reconstruction. Extensive experiments on various tasks including computer vision (image classification, object detection) and natural language processing (text classification and question answering) prove its superiority. With \textsc{QDrop}, the limit of PTQ is pushed to the 2-bit activation for the first time and the accuracy boost can be up to 51.49\%. Without bells and whistles, \textsc{QDrop} establishes a new state of the art for PTQ.
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