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Separable Self-attention for Mobile Vision Transformers

by   Sachin Mehta, et al.

Mobile vision transformers (MobileViT) can achieve state-of-the-art performance across several mobile vision tasks, including classification and detection. Though these models have fewer parameters, they have high latency as compared to convolutional neural network-based models. The main efficiency bottleneck in MobileViT is the multi-headed self-attention (MHA) in transformers, which requires O(k^2) time complexity with respect to the number of tokens (or patches) k. Moreover, MHA requires costly operations (e.g., batch-wise matrix multiplication) for computing self-attention, impacting latency on resource-constrained devices. This paper introduces a separable self-attention method with linear complexity, i.e. O(k). A simple yet effective characteristic of the proposed method is that it uses element-wise operations for computing self-attention, making it a good choice for resource-constrained devices. The improved model, MobileViTv2, is state-of-the-art on several mobile vision tasks, including ImageNet object classification and MS-COCO object detection. With about three million parameters, MobileViTv2 achieves a top-1 accuracy of 75.6 dataset, outperforming MobileViT by about 1 on a mobile device. Our source code is available at: <>


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