UniNet: Unified Architecture Search with Convolution, Transformer, and MLP

8 Oct 2021  ·  Jihao Liu, Hongsheng Li, Guanglu Song, Xin Huang, Yu Liu ·

Recently, transformer and multi-layer perceptron (MLP) architectures have achieved impressive results on various vision tasks. A few works investigated manually combining those operators to design visual network architectures, and can achieve satisfactory performances to some extent... In this paper, we propose to jointly search the optimal combination of convolution, transformer, and MLP for building a series of all-operator network architectures with high performances on visual tasks. We empirically identify that the widely-used strided convolution or pooling based down-sampling modules become the performance bottlenecks when the operators are combined to form a network. To better tackle the global context captured by the transformer and MLP operators, we propose two novel context-aware down-sampling modules, which can better adapt to the global information encoded by transformer and MLP operators. To this end, we jointly search all operators and down-sampling modules in a unified search space. Notably, Our searched network UniNet (Unified Network) outperforms state-of-the-art pure convolution-based architecture, EfficientNet, and pure transformer-based architecture, Swin-Transformer, on multiple public visual benchmarks, ImageNet classification, COCO object detection, and ADE20K semantic segmentation. read more

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