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Win-Win: Training High-Resolution Vision Transformers from Two Windows

Vincent Leroy · Jerome Revaud · Thomas Lucas · Philippe Weinzaepfel

Halle B #15
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Thu 9 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Transformers have become the standard in state-of-the-art vision architectures, achieving impressive performance on both image-level and dense pixelwise tasks. However, training vision transformers for high-resolution pixelwise tasks has a prohibitive cost. Typical solutions boil down to hierarchical architectures, fast and approximate attention, or training on low-resolution crops. This latter solution does not constrain architectural choices, but it leads to a clear performance drop when testing at resolutions significantly higher than that used for training, thus requiring ad-hoc and slow post-processing schemes. In this paper, we propose a novel strategy for efficient training and inference of high-resolution vision transformers. The key principle is to mask out most of the high-resolution inputs during training, keeping only N random windows. This allows the model to learn local interactions between tokens inside each window, and global interactions between tokens from different windows. As a result, the model can directly process the high-resolution input at test time without any special trick. We show that this strategy is effective when using relative positional embedding such as rotary embeddings. It is 4 times faster to train than a full-resolution network, and it is straightforward to use at test time compared to existing approaches. We apply this strategy to three dense prediction tasks with high-resolution data. First, we show on the task of semantic segmentation that a simple setting with 2 windows performs best, hence the name of our method: Win-Win. Second, we confirm this result on the task of monocular depth prediction. Third, to demonstrate the generality of our contribution, we further extend it to the binocular task of optical flow, reaching state-of-the-art performance on the Spring benchmark that contains Full-HD images with an order of magnitude faster inference than the best competitor

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