Filter Grafting for Deep Neural Networks

Fanxu Meng, Hao Cheng, Ke Li, Zhixin Xu, Rongrong Ji, Xing Sun, Guangming Lu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2020, pp. 6599-6607


This paper proposes a new learning paradigm called filter grafting, which aims to improve the representation capability of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). The motivation is that DNNs have unimportant (invalid) filters (e.g., l1 norm close to 0). These filters limit the potential of DNNs since they are identified as having little effect on the network. While filter pruning removes these invalid filters for efficiency consideration, filter grafting re-activates them from an accuracy boosting perspective. The activation is processed by grafting external information (weights) into invalid filters. To better perform the grafting process, we develop an entropy-based criterion to measure the information of filters and an adaptive weighting strategy for balancing the grafted information among networks. After the grafting operation, the network has very few invalid filters compared with its untouched state, enpowering the model with more representation capacity. We also perform extensive experiments on the classification and recognition tasks to show the superiority of our method. For example, the grafted MobileNetV2 outperforms the non-grafted MobileNetV2 by about 7 percent on CIFAR-100 dataset.

Related Material

[pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
author = {Meng, Fanxu and Cheng, Hao and Li, Ke and Xu, Zhixin and Ji, Rongrong and Sun, Xing and Lu, Guangming},
title = {Filter Grafting for Deep Neural Networks},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2020}