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Wide Residual Networks

This code was used for experiments with Wide Residual Networks (BMVC 2016) by Sergey Zagoruyko and Nikos Komodakis.

Deep residual networks were shown to be able to scale up to thousands of layers and still have improving performance. However, each fraction of a percent of improved accuracy costs nearly doubling the number of layers, and so training very deep residual networks has a problem of diminishing feature reuse, which makes these networks very slow to train.

To tackle these problems, in this work we conduct a detailed experimental study on the architecture of ResNet blocks, based on which we propose a novel architecture where we decrease depth and increase width of residual networks. We call the resulting network structures wide residual networks (WRNs) and show that these are far superior over their commonly used thin and very deep counterparts.

For example, we demonstrate that even a simple 16-layer-deep wide residual network outperforms in accuracy and efficiency all previous deep residual networks, including thousand-layer-deep networks. We further show that WRNs achieve incredibly good results (e.g., achieving new state-of-the-art results on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, SVHN, COCO and substantial improvements on ImageNet) and train several times faster than pre-activation ResNets.

Update (August 2019): Pretrained ImageNet WRN models are available in torchvision 0.4 and PyTorch Hub, e.g. loading WRN-50-2:

model = torch.hub.load('pytorch/vision', 'wide_resnet50_2', pretrained=True)

Update (November 2016): We updated the paper with ImageNet, COCO and meanstd preprocessing CIFAR results. If you're comparing your method against WRN, please report correct preprocessing numbers because they give substantially different results.

tldr; ImageNet WRN-50-2-bottleneck (ResNet-50 with wider inner bottleneck 3x3 convolution) is significantly faster than ResNet-152 and has better accuracy; on CIFAR meanstd preprocessing (as in fb.resnet.torch) gives better results than ZCA whitening; on COCO wide ResNet with 34 layers outperforms even Inception-v4-based Fast-RCNN model in single model performance.

Test error (%, flip/translation augmentation, meanstd normalization, median of 5 runs) on CIFAR:

Network CIFAR-10 CIFAR-100
pre-ResNet-164 5.46 24.33
pre-ResNet-1001 4.92 22.71
WRN-28-10 4.00 19.25
WRN-28-10-dropout 3.89 18.85

Single-time runs (meanstd normalization):

Dataset network test perf.
CIFAR-10 WRN-40-10-dropout 3.8%
CIFAR-100 WRN-40-10-dropout 18.3%
SVHN WRN-16-8-dropout 1.54%
ImageNet (single crop) WRN-50-2-bottleneck 21.9% top-1, 5.79% top-5
COCO-val5k (single model) WRN-34-2 36 mAP

See for details.


    author = {Sergey Zagoruyko and Nikos Komodakis},
    title = {Wide Residual Networks},
    booktitle = {BMVC},
    year = {2016}}

Pretrained models


WRN-50-2-bottleneck (wider bottleneck), see pretrained for details
Download (263MB):

There are also PyTorch and Tensorflow model definitions with pretrained weights at




The code depends on Torch Follow instructions here and run:

luarocks install torchnet
luarocks install optnet
luarocks install iterm

For visualizing training curves we used ipython notebook with pandas and bokeh.


Dataset support

The code supports loading simple datasets in torch format. We provide the following:

To whiten CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 we used the following scripts and then converted to torch using and npy to torch converter

We are running ImageNet experiments and will update the paper and this repo soon.


We provide several scripts for reproducing results in the paper. Below are several examples.

model=wide-resnet widen_factor=4 depth=40 ./scripts/

This will train WRN-40-4 on CIFAR-10 whitened (supposed to be in datasets folder). This network achieves about the same accuracy as ResNet-1001 and trains in 6 hours on a single Titan X. Log is saved to logs/wide-resnet_$RANDOM$RANDOM folder with json entries for each epoch and can be visualized with itorch/ipython later.

For reference we provide logs for this experiment and ipython notebook to visualize the results. After running it you should see these training curves:


Another example:

model=wide-resnet widen_factor=10 depth=28 dropout=0.3 dataset=./datasets/cifar100_whitened.t7 ./scripts/

This network achieves 20.0% error on CIFAR-100 in about a day on a single Titan X.

Multi-GPU is supported with nGPU=n parameter.

Other models

Additional models in this repo:

Implementation details

The code evolved from To reduce memory usage we use @fmassa's optimize-net, which automatically shares output and gradient tensors between modules. This keeps memory usage below 4 Gb even for our best networks. Also, it can generate network graph plots as the one for WRN-16-2 in the end of this page.


We thank startup company VisionLabs and Eugenio Culurciello for giving us access to their clusters, without them ImageNet experiments wouldn't be possible. We also thank Adam Lerer and Sam Gross for helpful discussions. Work supported by EC project FP7-ICT-611145 ROBOSPECT.


3.8% and 18.3% on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100







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