Diff-Instruct: A Universal Approach for Transferring Knowledge From Pre-trained Diffusion Models

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

Bibtex Paper


Weijian Luo, Tianyang Hu, Shifeng Zhang, Jiacheng Sun, Zhenguo Li, Zhihua Zhang


Due to the ease of training, ability to scale, and high sample quality, diffusion models (DMs) have become the preferred option for generative modeling, with numerous pre-trained models available for a wide variety of datasets. Containing intricate information about data distributions, pre-trained DMs are valuable assets for downstream applications. In this work, we consider learning from pre-trained DMs and transferring their knowledge to other generative models in a data-free fashion. Specifically, we propose a general framework called Diff-Instruct to instruct the training of arbitrary generative models as long as the generated samples are differentiable with respect to the model parameters. Our proposed Diff-Instruct is built on a rigorous mathematical foundation where the instruction process directly corresponds to minimizing a novel divergence we call Integral Kullback-Leibler (IKL) divergence. IKL is tailored for DMs by calculating the integral of the KL divergence along a diffusion process, which we show to be more robust in comparing distributions with misaligned supports. We also reveal non-trivial connections of our method to existing works such as DreamFusion \citep{poole2022dreamfusion}, and generative adversarial training. To demonstrate the effectiveness and universality of Diff-Instruct, we consider two scenarios: distilling pre-trained diffusion models and refining existing GAN models. The experiments on distilling pre-trained diffusion models show that Diff-Instruct results in state-of-the-art single-step diffusion-based models. The experiments on refining GAN models show that the Diff-Instruct can consistently improve the pre-trained generators of GAN models across various settings. Our official code is released through \url{https://github.com/pkulwj1994/diff_instruct}.