ResT: An Efficient Transformer for Visual Recognition

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Qinglong Zhang, Yu-Bin Yang


This paper presents an efficient multi-scale vision Transformer, called ResT, that capably served as a general-purpose backbone for image recognition. Unlike existing Transformer methods, which employ standard Transformer blocks to tackle raw images with a fixed resolution, our ResT have several advantages: (1) A memory-efficient multi-head self-attention is built, which compresses the memory by a simple depth-wise convolution, and projects the interaction across the attention-heads dimension while keeping the diversity ability of multi-heads; (2) Positional encoding is constructed as spatial attention, which is more flexible and can tackle with input images of arbitrary size without interpolation or fine-tune; (3) Instead of the straightforward tokenization at the beginning of each stage, we design the patch embedding as a stack of overlapping convolution operation with stride on the token map. We comprehensively validate ResT on image classification and downstream tasks. Experimental results show that the proposed ResT can outperform the recently state-of-the-art backbones by a large margin, demonstrating the potential of ResT as strong backbones. The code and models will be made publicly available at