Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)
xu lan, Xiatian Zhu, Shaogang Gong
Knowledge distillation is effective to train the small and generalisable network models for meeting the low-memory and fast running requirements. Existing offline distillation methods rely on a strong pre-trained teacher, which enables favourable knowledge discovery and transfer but requires a complex two-phase training procedure. Online counterparts address this limitation at the price of lacking a high-capacity teacher. In this work, we present an On-the-fly Native Ensemble (ONE) learning strategy for one-stage online distillation. Specifically, ONE only trains a single multi-branch network while simultaneously establishing a strong teacher on-the-fly to enhance the learning of target network. Extensive evaluations show that ONE improves the generalisation performance of a variety of deep neural networks more significantly than alternative methods on four image classification dataset: CIFAR10, CIFAR100, SVHN, and ImageNet, whilst having the computational efficiency advantages.