- [pdf] [arXiv]
Collaborative Multi-Teacher Knowledge Distillation for Learning Low Bit-Width Deep Neural Networks
Knowledge distillation which learns a lightweight student model by distilling knowledge from a cumbersome teacher model is an attractive approach for learning compact deep neural networks (DNNs). Recent works further improve student network performance by leveraging multiple teacher networks. However, most of the existing knowledge distillation-based multi-teacher methods use separately pretrained teachers. This limits the collaborative learning between teachers and the mutual learning between teachers and student. Network quantization is another at- tractive approach for learning compact DNNs. However, most existing network quantization methods are developed and evaluated without considering multi-teacher support to enhance the performance of quantized student model. In this paper, we propose a novel framework that leverages both multi-teacher knowledge distillation and network quantization for learning low bit-width DNNs. The proposed method encourages both collaborative learning between quantized teachers and mutual learning between quantized teachers and quantized student. During learning process, at corresponding layers, knowledge from teachers will form an importance-aware shared knowledge which will be used as input for teachers at subsequent layers and also be used to guide student. Our experimental results on CIFAR100 and ImageNet datasets show that the compact quantized student models trained with our method achieve competitive results compared to other state-of-the-art methods, and in some cases, indeed surpass the full precision models.