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Using Teacher Assistants to Improve Knowledge Distillation
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README.md

Teacher-Assistant-Knowledge-Distilliation

Another version of code documentation is inside readme.pdf file.



0. Table of Contents

This manual has has two parts

1- Installation

Provides installation guide.

2- Running the code

Details on how to run the code.

3- Examples

Some examples to reproduce results in the paper.


1. Installation

1.1 OS: Mac OS X or Linux(tested on Ubuntu and Debian)
1.2 Pytorch(1.0.0) which can be installed with details provided here: https://pytorch.org/get-started/locally/

For most users, pip3 install torch torchvision should work. If you are using Anaconda, conda install pytorch torchvision -c pytorch should work.

1.3 Microsoft NNI toolkit: Details of installation provided here: https://github.com/Microsoft/nni/

For most users, pip3 install nni should work.

2. Running The code

2.1 Important Files In codebase:

2.1.1 model_factory.py Creates neural networks(resnet and plane CNN models) to be used by trainer.

2.1.2 data_loader.py Loads datasets(CIFAR10/CIFAR100) to be used by trainer.

2.1.3 train.py The main code. Given a training config which we will explain below, it will train models.

2.1.4 search_space.json defines hyper parameter search space for the hyper parameter optimizer.

2.1.5 config.yml config for the hyper parameter optimizer.

2.2 Configs

2.2.1 Training Settings

These settings are needed duri

2.2.1.1 epochs

Number of training epochs.

2.2.1.2 dataset

Dataset name, can be 'cifar10' or 'cifar100'. Default is 'cifar100'.

2.2.1.3 batch-size

mini batch size used in training. Default is 128.

2.2.1.4 learning-rate

Initial learning rate for SGD optimizer. Depending on models in might be changed during training.

2.2.1.5 momentum

momentum for SGD optimizer. Default is 0.9.

2.2.1.6 weight-decay

Weight decay for SGD optimizer. Default is 0.0001.

2.2.1.7 teacher

Teacher model name. Can be resnetX for resnetwhere X can be any value in (8, 14, 20, 26, 32, 44, 56, 110) or PlaneY for plane(vanilla CNN) networks where Y can be any value in (2, 4, 6, 8, 10). For details of network please refer to the paper.

2.2.1.8 student

Student model name. Values can be in forms of resnetX or planeY which explained before.

2.2.1.9 teacher-checkpoint

Path for a file which has pretrained teacher. Defauls is empty which means we need to train the teacher also.

2.2.1.10 cuda

wheather or not train on GPU. (must have GPU supportive pytorch installed). Values 1 and true can be used for training on GPU.

2.2.1.11 dataset-dir

location of the dataset. default is './data/'

2.2.2 Hyper Parameters

NNI toolkit needs a search_space file (like search_space.json) consists T and lambda in equation 3 of the paper. Also, in order to get reliable results, there will be multiple seeds to avoid bad runs. For more details on search space file, please refer to the example sections or https://microsoft.github.io/nni/docs/SearchSpaceSpec.html.

2.3 Running

You have to run the code using nnictl create --config config.yml. Then the hyper parameter optimizer will run experiments with different hyper parameters and the results will be available thorough a dashboard.


3. Examples

In all examples, you need to change the command line of config.yml and tell the nnictl runner to how to run an experiment.

3.1 'resnet 110' as teacher, 'resnet8' as student on CIFAR100 (Baseline Knowledge Distillation)

You should change the command part of the config file like this:
command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --teacher resnet110 --student resnet8 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar10

3.2 'resnet 110' as teacher, 'resnet20' as TA, 'resnet8' as student on CIFAR100(using GPU)

  1. Train Teacher(Resnet110): This phase is not knowledge distillation. So there's no teacher and only a student trained alone.
    command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --student resnet110 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar100

  2. After first step, choose the weights which had best accuracy on valdiation data and train TA(Resnet20) with teacher (Resnet110) weights. Say the best resnet110 weights file was resnet110_XXXX_best.pth.tar
    command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --teacher resnet110 --teacher-checkpoint ./resnet110_XXXX_best.pth.tar --student resnet20 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar100

  3. Repeat like step two, distillate knowledge from TA to student (Teacher is resnet20, student is resnet8). Also, we assume the best weights from step two was resnet20_XXXX_best.pth.tar
    command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --teacher resnet20 --teacher-checkpoint ./resnet20_XXXX_best.pth.tar --student resnet8 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar100

3.3 'resnet 110' as teacher, 'resnet14' as TA, 'resnet8' as student on CIFAR10

  1. Train Teacher(Resnet110): This phase is not knowledge distillation. So there's no teacher and only a student trained alone.
    command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --student resnet110 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar10

  2. After first step, choose the weights which had best accuracy on valdiation data and train TA(Resnet14) with teacher (Resnet110) weights. Say the best resnet110 weights file was resnet110_XXXX_best.pth.tar command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --teacher resnet110 --teacher-checkpoint ./resnet110_XXXX_best.pth.tar --student resnet14 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar10

  3. Repeat like step two, distillate knowledge from TA to student (Teacher is resnet14, student is resnet8). Also, we assume the best weights from step two was resnet14_XXXX_best.pth.tar
    command: python3 train.py --epochs 160 --teacher resnet14 --teacher-checkpoint ./resnet14_XXXX_best.pth.tar --student resnet8 --cuda 1 --dataset cifar10

Reference

arxiv link: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.03393.pdf
If you found this library useful in your research, please consider citing:

@article{mirzadeh2019improved,
  title={Improved Knowledge Distillation via Teacher Assistant: Bridging the Gap Between Student and Teacher},
  author={Mirzadeh, Seyed-Iman and Farajtabar, Mehrdad and Li, Ang and Ghasemzadeh, Hassan},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1902.03393},
  year={2019}
}
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