Leveraging Early-Stage Robustness in Diffusion Models for Efficient and High-Quality Image Synthesis

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yulhwa Kim, Dongwon Jo, Hyesung Jeon, Taesu Kim, Daehyun Ahn, Hyungjun Kim, jae-joon kim


While diffusion models have demonstrated exceptional image generation capabilities, the iterative noise estimation process required for these models is compute-intensive and their practical implementation is limited by slow sampling speeds. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to speed up the noise estimation network by leveraging the robustness of early-stage diffusion models. Our findings indicate that inaccurate computation during the early-stage of the reverse diffusion process has minimal impact on the quality of generated images, as this stage primarily outlines the image while later stages handle the finer details that require more sensitive information. To improve computational efficiency, we combine our findings with post-training quantization (PTQ) to introduce a method that utilizes low-bit activation for the early reverse diffusion process while maintaining high-bit activation for the later stages. Experimental results show that the proposed method can accelerate the early-stage computation without sacrificing the quality of the generated images.