CADyQ: Content-Aware Dynamic Quantization for Image Super-Resolution
"Despite breakthrough advances in image super-resolution (SR) with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), SR has yet to enjoy ubiquitous applications due to the high computational complexity of SR networks. Quantization is one of the promising approaches to solve this problem. However, existing methods fail to quantize SR models with a bit-width lower than 8 bits, suffering from severe accuracy loss due to fixed bit-width quantization applied everywhere. In this work, to achieve high average bit-reduction with less accuracy loss, we propose a novel Content-Aware Dynamic Quantization (CADyQ) method for SR networks that allocates optimal bits to local regions and layers adaptively based on the local contents of an input image. To this end, a trainable bit selector module is introduced to determine the proper bit-width and quantization level for each layer and a given local image patch. This module is governed by the quantization sensitivity that is estimated by using both the average magnitude of image gradient of the patch and the standard deviation of the input feature of the layer. The proposed quantization pipeline has been tested on various SR networks and evaluated on several standard benchmarks extensively. Significant reduction in computational complexity and the elevated restoration accuracy clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed CADyQ framework for SR. Codes are available at https://github.com/Cheeun/CADyQ."