I&S-ViT: An Inclusive & Stable Method for Pushing the Limit of Post-Training ViTs Quantization

Published on Nov 16, 2023
· Featured in Daily Papers on Nov 20, 2023


Albeit the scalable performance of vision transformers (ViTs), the dense computational costs (training & inference) undermine their position in industrial applications. Post-training quantization (PTQ), tuning ViTs with a tiny dataset and running in a low-bit format, well addresses the cost issue but unluckily bears more performance drops in lower-bit cases. In this paper, we introduce I&S-ViT, a novel method that regulates the PTQ of ViTs in an inclusive and stable fashion. I&S-ViT first identifies two issues in the PTQ of ViTs: (1) Quantization inefficiency in the prevalent log2 quantizer for post-Softmax activations; (2) Rugged and magnified loss landscape in coarse-grained quantization granularity for post-LayerNorm activations. Then, I&S-ViT addresses these issues by introducing: (1) A novel shift-uniform-log2 quantizer (SULQ) that incorporates a shift mechanism followed by uniform quantization to achieve both an inclusive domain representation and accurate distribution approximation; (2) A three-stage smooth optimization strategy (SOS) that amalgamates the strengths of channel-wise and layer-wise quantization to enable stable learning. Comprehensive evaluations across diverse vision tasks validate I&S-ViT' superiority over existing PTQ of ViTs methods, particularly in low-bit scenarios. For instance, I&S-ViT elevates the performance of 3-bit ViT-B by an impressive 50.68%.


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