Inception Transformer

25 May 2022  ·  Chenyang Si, Weihao Yu, Pan Zhou, Yichen Zhou, Xinchao Wang, Shuicheng Yan ·

Recent studies show that Transformer has strong capability of building long-range dependencies, yet is incompetent in capturing high frequencies that predominantly convey local information. To tackle this issue, we present a novel and general-purpose Inception Transformer, or iFormer for short, that effectively learns comprehensive features with both high- and low-frequency information in visual data. Specifically, we design an Inception mixer to explicitly graft the advantages of convolution and max-pooling for capturing the high-frequency information to Transformers. Different from recent hybrid frameworks, the Inception mixer brings greater efficiency through a channel splitting mechanism to adopt parallel convolution/max-pooling path and self-attention path as high- and low-frequency mixers, while having the flexibility to model discriminative information scattered within a wide frequency range. Considering that bottom layers play more roles in capturing high-frequency details while top layers more in modeling low-frequency global information, we further introduce a frequency ramp structure, i.e. gradually decreasing the dimensions fed to the high-frequency mixer and increasing those to the low-frequency mixer, which can effectively trade-off high- and low-frequency components across different layers. We benchmark the iFormer on a series of vision tasks, and showcase that it achieves impressive performance on image classification, COCO detection and ADE20K segmentation. For example, our iFormer-S hits the top-1 accuracy of 83.4% on ImageNet-1K, much higher than DeiT-S by 3.6%, and even slightly better than much bigger model Swin-B (83.3%) with only 1/4 parameters and 1/3 FLOPs. Code and models will be released at

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