NIPS Proceedingsβ

Learning Efficient Object Detection Models with Knowledge Distillation

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)


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Conference Event Type: Poster


Despite significant accuracy improvement in convolutional neural networks (CNN) based object detectors, they often require prohibitive runtimes to process an image for real-time applications. State-of-the-art models often use very deep networks with a large number of floating point operations. Efforts such as model compression learn compact models with fewer number of parameters, but with much reduced accuracy. In this work, we propose a new framework to learn compact and fast ob- ject detection networks with improved accuracy using knowledge distillation [20] and hint learning [34]. Although knowledge distillation has demonstrated excellent improvements for simpler classification setups, the complexity of detection poses new challenges in the form of regression, region proposals and less voluminous la- bels. We address this through several innovations such as a weighted cross-entropy loss to address class imbalance, a teacher bounded loss to handle the regression component and adaptation layers to better learn from intermediate teacher distribu- tions. We conduct comprehensive empirical evaluation with different distillation configurations over multiple datasets including PASCAL, KITTI, ILSVRC and MS-COCO. Our results show consistent improvement in accuracy-speed trade-offs for modern multi-class detection models.