Collaborative Distillation for Ultra-Resolution Universal Style Transfer

Huan Wang, Yijun Li, Yuehai Wang, Haoji Hu, Ming-Hsuan Yang; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2020, pp. 1860-1869


Universal style transfer methods typically leverage rich representations from deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models (e.g., VGG-19) pre-trained on large collections of images. Despite the effectiveness, its application is heavily constrained by the large model size to handle ultra-resolution images given limited memory. In this work, we present a new knowledge distillation method (named Collaborative Distillation) for encoder-decoder based neural style transfer to reduce the convolutional filters. The main idea is underpinned by a finding that the encoder-decoder pairs construct an exclusive collaborative relationship, which is regarded as a new kind of knowledge for style transfer models. Moreover, to overcome the feature size mismatch when applying collaborative distillation, a linear embedding loss is introduced to drive the student network to learn a linear embedding of the teacher's features. Extensive experiments show the effectiveness of our method when applied to different universal style transfer approaches (WCT and AdaIN), even if the model size is reduced by 15.5 times. Especially, on WCT with the compressed models, we achieve ultra-resolution (over 40 megapixels) universal style transfer on a 12GB GPU for the first time. Further experiments on optimization-based stylization scheme show the generality of our algorithm on different stylization paradigms. Our code and trained models are available at

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Wang, Huan and Li, Yijun and Wang, Yuehai and Hu, Haoji and Yang, Ming-Hsuan},
title = {Collaborative Distillation for Ultra-Resolution Universal Style Transfer},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2020}