Improved knowledge distillation via teacher assistant

Seyed Iman Mirzadeh, Mehrdad Farajtabar, Ang Li, Nir Levine, Akihiro Matsukawa, Hassan Ghasemzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the fact that deep neural networks are powerful models and achieve appealing results on many tasks, they are too large to be deployed on edge devices like smartphones or embedded sensor nodes. There have been efforts to compress these networks, and a popular method is knowledge distillation, where a large (teacher) pre-trained network is used to train a smaller (student) network. However, in this paper, we show that the student network performance degrades when the gap between student and teacher is large. Given a fixed student network, one cannot employ an arbitrarily large teacher, or in other words, a teacher can effectively transfer its knowledge to students up to a certain size, not smaller. To alleviate this shortcoming, we introduce multi-step knowledge distillation, which employs an intermediate-sized network (teacher assistant) to bridge the gap between the student and the teacher. Moreover, we study the effect of teacher assistant size and extend the framework to multi-step distillation. Theoretical analysis and extensive experiments on CIFAR-10,100 and ImageNet datasets and on CNN and ResNet architectures substantiate the effectiveness of our proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
PublisherAAAI press
Pages5191-5198
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781577358350
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020 - New York, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2020Feb 12 2020

Publication series

NameAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Conference

Conference34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Period2/7/202/12/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence

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