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SqueezeDet - Low Precision

Original work by Bichen Wu, Alvin Wan, Forrest Iandola, Peter H. Jin, Kurt Keutzer (UC Berkeley & DeepScale)

Addition of low precision evaluation by Mark Buckler.

This repository contains a tensorflow implementation of SqueezeDet, a convolutional neural network based object detector described in this paper: If you find this work useful for your research, please consider citing:

    Author = {Bichen Wu and Forrest Iandola and Peter H. Jin and Kurt Keutzer},
    Title = {SqueezeDet: Unified, Small, Low Power Fully Convolutional Neural Networks for Real-Time Object Detection for Autonomous Driving},
    Journal = {arXiv:1612.01051},
    Year = {2016}

Low Precision Implementation

This fork contains additions to the original SqueezeDet project. Specifically, functionality has been added to simulate evaluation of SqueezeDet models when using fixed point model parameters. "Simulation" of fixed point model parameters means that floating point math is still used in computation, but the number of values which can be used to represent a parameter is artificially limited based on the number of simulated fixed point bits.

To convert floating point parameters to simulated fixed point parameters first a given range is set. The default range is given by the maximum and minimum model parameter values before conversion. Then, valid values are defined as a linear distribution of 2^N possible values between this range (where N is the number of simulated fixed point bits). Model conversion consists of rounding each of the parameters to one of these valid values.

Supported Conversion Methods

In addition to supporting an arbitrary number of simulated bits the code supports a few different conversion methods.

  • Rounding method: Both nearest neighbors and stochastic rounding are supported.

  • Zero reservation: The default model conversion doesn't reserve a valid value for exact zero, but it can if requested.

  • Per-layer scale: Rather than setting the initial scale based on the max and min for the entire model, it can be chosen per layer.


After performing the installation and downloading the KITTI dataset (instructions for that found below) you can evaluate a given low precision configuration with the following command:

python ./src/ \
  --dataset=KITTI \
  --data_path=./data/KITTI \
  --image_set=val \
  --eval_dir=eval_logs_plus \
  --run_once=True \
  --checkpoint_path=data/model_checkpoints/squeezeDetPlus/model.ckpt-95000 \
  --net=squeezeDet+ \
  --gpu=0 \
  --use_quantization=True \
  --model_bits=10 \
  --rounding_method=stochastic \
  --reserve_zero_val=True \
  --separate_layer_scales=False \
  &> test_log_plus.txt

To perform a full sweep with different options you can run the provided script (shown below). This script will write out log files as well as plot results.

python ./scripts/


The sample output of the sweep script can be found below. Noteably, these tests don't include any examples with separate layer scales as this wasn't found to improve model accuracy at all. What does help significantly is stochastic rounding and zero reservation, and when used together they offer the highest accuracy per bit.

sample results


The following instructions are written for Linux-based distros.

  • Clone the SqueezeDet repository:

    git clone

    Let's call the top level directory of SqueezeDet $SQDT_ROOT.

  • (Optional) Setup your own virtual environment.

    1. The following assumes python is the Python2.7 executable. Navigate to your user home directory, and create the virtual environment there.
    cd ~
    virtualenv env --python=python
    1. Launch the virtual environment.
    source ~/env/bin/activate
  • Use pip to install required Python packages:

    pip install -r requirements.txt


  • Download SqueezeDet model parameters from here, untar it, and put it under $SQDT_ROOT/data/ If you are using command line, type:

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/data/
    tar -xzvf model_checkpoints.tgz
    rm model_checkpoints.tgz
  • Now we can run the demo. To detect the sample image $SQDT_ROOT/data/sample.png,

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/
    python ./src/

    If the installation is correct, the detector should generate this image: alt text

    To detect other image(s), use the flag --input_path=./data/*.png to point to input image(s). Input image(s) will be scaled to the resolution of 1242x375 (KITTI image resolution), so it works best when original resolution is close to that.

  • SqueezeDet is a real-time object detector, which can be used to detect videos. The video demo will be released later.


  • Install gnuplot from your package manager (needed for validation)

    sudo apt-get install gnuplot-x11
  • Download KITTI object detection dataset: images and labels. Put them under $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/. Unzip them, then you will get two directories: $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/training/ and $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/testing/.

  • Now we need to split the training data into a training set and a validation set.

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/
    mkdir ImageSets
    cd ./ImageSets
    ls ../training/image_2/ | grep ".png" | sed s/.png// > trainval.txt

    trainval.txt contains indices to all the images in the training data. In our experiments, we randomly split half of indices in trainval.txt into train.txt to form a training set and rest of them into val.txt to form a validation set. For your convenience, we provide a script to split the train-val set automatically. Simply run

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/data/

    then you should get the train.txt and val.txt under $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/ImageSets.

    When above two steps are finished, the structure of $SQDT_ROOT/data/KITTI/ should at least contain:

                      |     |-> image_2/00****.png
                      |     L-> label_2/00****.txt
                      |     L-> image_2/00****.png
                            |-> trainval.txt
                            |-> train.txt
                            L-> val.txt
  • Next, download the CNN model pretrained for ImageNet classification:

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/data/
    # SqueezeNet
    tar -xzvf SqueezeNet.tgz
    # ResNet50 
    tar -xzvf ResNet.tgz
    # VGG16
    tar -xzvf VGG16.tgz
  • Now we can start training. Training script can be found in $SQDT_ROOT/scripts/, which contains commands to train 4 models: SqueezeDet, SqueezeDet+, VGG16+ConvDet, ResNet50+ConvDet.

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/
    ./scripts/ -net (squeezeDet|squeezeDet+|vgg16|resnet50) -train_dir /tmp/bichen/logs/squeezedet -gpu 0

    Training logs are saved to the directory specified by -train_dir. GPU id is specified by -gpu. Network to train is specificed by -net

  • Before evaluation, you need to first compile the official evaluation script of KITTI dataset

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/src/dataset/kitti-eval
  • Then, you can launch the evaluation script (in parallel with training) by

    cd $SQDT_ROOT/
    ./scripts/ -net (squeezeDet|squeezeDet+|vgg16|resnet50) -eval_dir /tmp/bichen/logs/squeezedet -image_set (train|val) -gpu 1

    Note that -train_dir in the training script should be the same as -eval_dir in the evaluation script to make it easy for tensorboard to load logs.

    You can run two evaluation scripts to simultaneously evaluate the model on training and validation set. The training script keeps dumping checkpoint (model parameters) to the training directory once every 1000 steps (step size can be changed). Once a new checkpoint is saved, evaluation threads load the new checkpoint file and evaluate them on training and validation set.

  • Finally, to monitor training and evaluation process, you can use tensorboard by

    tensorboard --logdir=$LOG_DIR

    Here, $LOG_DIR is the directory where your training and evaluation threads dump log events, which should be the same as -train_dir and -eval_dir specified in and From tensorboard, you should be able to see a lot of information including loss, average precision, error analysis, example detections, model visualization, etc.

    alt text alt text alt text

  • If you would like to simply run an evaluation on a given model, use the python evaluation script directly

    python ./src/ \
      --dataset=KITTI \
      --data_path=./data/KITTI \
      --image_set=val \
      --eval_dir=eval_logs_plus \
      --run_once=True \
      --checkpoint_path=data/model_checkpoints/squeezeDetPlus/model.ckpt-95000 \
      --net=squeezeDet+ \
      --gpu=0 \
      &> test_log_plus.txt


A tensorflow implementation for SqueezeDet augmented to simulate fixed point inference




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