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Directly Fine-Tuning Diffusion Models on Differentiable Rewards

Kevin Clark · Paul Vicol · Kevin Swersky · David Fleet

Halle B #37
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


We present Direct Reward Fine-Tuning (DRaFT), a simple and effective method for fine-tuning diffusion models to maximize differentiable reward functions, such as scores from human preference models. We first show that it is possible to backpropagate the reward function gradient through the full sampling procedure, and that doing so achieves strong performance on a variety of rewards, outperforming reinforcement learning-based approaches. We then propose more efficient variants of DRaFT: DRaFT-K, which truncates backpropagation to only the last K steps of sampling, and DRaFT-LV, which obtains lower-variance gradient estimates for the case when K=1. We show that our methods work well for a variety of reward functions and can be used to substantially improve the aesthetic quality of images generated by Stable Diffusion 1.4. Finally, we draw connections between our approach and prior work, providing a unifying perspective on the design space of gradient-based fine-tuning algorithms.

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