ULSAM: Ultra-Lightweight Subspace Attention Module for Compact Convolutional Neural Networks

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Authors Sparsh Mittal, Rajat Saini, Bedanta Das, Nandan Kumar Jha, C. Krishna Mohan
Journal/Conference Name 2020 IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)
Paper Category
Paper Abstract The capability of the self-attention mechanism to model the long-range dependencies has catapulted its deployment in vision models. Unlike convolution operators, self-attention offers infinite receptive field and enables compute-efficient modeling of global dependencies. However, the existing state-of-the-art attention mechanisms incur high compute and/or parameter overheads, and hence unfit for compact convolutional neural networks (CNNs). In this work, we propose a simple yet effective "Ultra-Lightweight Subspace Attention Mechanism" (ULSAM), which infers different attention maps for each feature map subspace. We argue that leaning separate attention maps for each feature subspace enables multi-scale and multi-frequency feature representation, which is more desirable for fine-grained image classification. Our method of subspace attention is orthogonal and complementary to the existing state-of-the-arts attention mechanisms used in vision models. ULSAM is end-to-end trainable and can be deployed as a plug-and-play module in the pre-existing compact CNNs. Notably, our work is the first attempt that uses a subspace attention mechanism to increase the efficiency of compact CNNs. To show the efficacy of ULSAM, we perform experiments with MobileNet-V1 and MobileNet-V2 as backbone architectures on ImageNet-1K and three fine-grained image classification datasets. We achieve $\approx$13% and $\approx$25% reduction in both the FLOPs and parameter counts of MobileNet-V2 with a 0.27% and more than 1% improvement in top-1 accuracy on the ImageNet-1K and fine-grained image classification datasets (respectively). Code and trained models are available at https//github.com/Nandan91/ULSAM.
Date of publication 2020
Code Programming Language Python
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