Perceiver: General Perception with Iterative Attention

4 Mar 2021  ·  Andrew Jaegle, Felix Gimeno, Andrew Brock, Andrew Zisserman, Oriol Vinyals, Joao Carreira ·

Biological systems perceive the world by simultaneously processing high-dimensional inputs from modalities as diverse as vision, audition, touch, proprioception, etc. The perception models used in deep learning on the other hand are designed for individual modalities, often relying on domain-specific assumptions such as the local grid structures exploited by virtually all existing vision models. These priors introduce helpful inductive biases, but also lock models to individual modalities. In this paper we introduce the Perceiver - a model that builds upon Transformers and hence makes few architectural assumptions about the relationship between its inputs, but that also scales to hundreds of thousands of inputs, like ConvNets. The model leverages an asymmetric attention mechanism to iteratively distill inputs into a tight latent bottleneck, allowing it to scale to handle very large inputs. We show that this architecture is competitive with or outperforms strong, specialized models on classification tasks across various modalities: images, point clouds, audio, video, and video+audio. The Perceiver obtains performance comparable to ResNet-50 and ViT on ImageNet without 2D convolutions by directly attending to 50,000 pixels. It is also competitive in all modalities in AudioSet.

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Results from the Paper


Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Audio Classification AudioSet Perceiver Test mAP 0.449 # 16
Image Classification ImageNet Perceiver (FF) Top 1 Accuracy 78% # 616
Number of params 44.9M # 558
GFLOPs 707.2 # 419
Image Classification ImageNet Perceiver Top 1 Accuracy 76.4% # 665
3D Point Cloud Classification ModelNet40 Perceiver Mean Accuracy 14.3 # 28

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