Online Model Distillation for Efficient Video Inference

Ravi Teja Mullapudi, Steven Chen, Keyi Zhang, Deva Ramanan, Kayvon Fatahalian; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 3573-3582


High-quality computer vision models typically address the problem of understanding the general distribution of real-world images. However, most cameras observe only a very small fraction of this distribution. This offers the possibility of achieving more efficient inference by specializing compact, low-cost models to the specific distribution of frames observed by a single camera. In this paper, we employ the technique of model distillation (supervising a low-cost student model using the output of a high-cost teacher) to specialize accurate, low-cost semantic segmentation models to a target video stream. Rather than learn a specialized student model on offline data from the video stream, we train the student in an online fashion on the live video, intermittently running the teacher to provide a target for learning. Online model distillation yields semantic segmentation models that closely approximate their Mask R-CNN teacher with 7 to 17xlower inference runtime cost (11 to 26xin FLOPs), even when the target video's distribution is non-stationary. Our method requires no offline pretraining on the target video stream, achieves higher accuracy and lower cost than solutions based on flow or video object segmentation, and can exhibit better temporal stability than the original teacher. We also provide a new video dataset for evaluating the efficiency of inference over long running video streams.

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author = {Mullapudi, Ravi Teja and Chen, Steven and Zhang, Keyi and Ramanan, Deva and Fatahalian, Kayvon},
title = {Online Model Distillation for Efficient Video Inference},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}