TinyCLIP: CLIP Distillation via Affinity Mimicking and Weight Inheritance

Kan Wu, Houwen Peng, Zhenghong Zhou, Bin Xiao, Mengchen Liu, Lu Yuan, Hong Xuan, Michael Valenzuela, Xi (Stephen) Chen, Xinggang Wang, Hongyang Chao, Han Hu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2023, pp. 21970-21980


In this paper, we propose a novel cross-modal distillation method, called TinyCLIP, for large-scale language-image pre-trained models. The method introduces two core techniques: affinity mimicking and weight inheritance. Affinity mimicking explores the interaction between modalities during distillation, enabling student models to mimic teachers' behavior of learning cross-modal feature alignment in a visual-linguistic affinity space. Weight inheritance transmits the pre-trained weights from the teacher models to their student counterparts to improve distillation efficiency. Moreover, we extend the method into a multi-stage progressive distillation to mitigate the loss of informative weights during extreme compression. Comprehensive experiments demonstrate the efficacy of TinyCLIP, showing that it can reduce the size of the pre-trained CLIP ViT-B/32 by 50%, while maintaining comparable zero-shot performance. While aiming for comparable performance, distillation with weight inheritance can speed up the training by 1.4 - 7.8x compared to training from scratch. Moreover, our TinyCLIP ViT-8M/16, trained on YFCC-15M, achieves an impressive zero-shot top-1 accuracy of 41.1% on ImageNet, surpassing the original CLIP ViT-B/16 by 3.5% while utilizing only 8.9% parameters. Finally, we demonstrate the good transferability of TinyCLIP in various downstream tasks. Code and models will be open-sourced at aka.ms/tinyclip.

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@InProceedings{Wu_2023_ICCV, author = {Wu, Kan and Peng, Houwen and Zhou, Zhenghong and Xiao, Bin and Liu, Mengchen and Yuan, Lu and Xuan, Hong and Valenzuela, Michael and Chen, Xi (Stephen) and Wang, Xinggang and Chao, Hongyang and Hu, Han}, title = {TinyCLIP: CLIP Distillation via Affinity Mimicking and Weight Inheritance}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2023}, pages = {21970-21980} }