Feature Normalized Knowledge Distillation for Image Classification

Kunran Xu, Lai Rui, Yishi Li, Lin Gu ;


Knowledge Distillation (KD) transfers the knowledge from a cumbersome teacher model to a lightweight student network. Since a single image may reasonably relate to several categories, the one-hot label would inevitably introduce the encoding noise. From this perspective, we systematically analyze the distillation mechanism and demonstrate that the L2-norm of the feature in penultimate layer would be too large under the influence of label noise, and the temperature T in KD could be regarded as a correction factor for L2-norm to suppress the impact of noise. Noticing different samples suffer from varying intensities of label noise, we further propose a simple yet effective feature normalized knowledge distillation which introduces the sample specific correction factor to replace the unified temperature T for better reducing the impact of noise. Extensive experiments show that the proposed method surpasses standard KD as well as self-distillation significantly on Cifar-100, CUB-200-2011 and Stanford Cars datasets. The codes are in https://github.com/aztc/FNKD"

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