Dynamic Dual Trainable Bounds for Ultra-Low Precision Super-Resolution Networks
"Light-weight super-resolution (SR) models have received considerable attention for their serviceability in mobile devices. Many efforts employ network quantization to compress SR models. However, these methods suffer from severe performance degradation when quantizing the SR models to ultra-low precision (e.g., 2-bit and 3-bit) with the low-cost layer-wise quantizer. In this paper, we identify that the performance drop comes from the contradiction between the layer-wise symmetric quantizer and the highly asymmetric activation distribution in SR models. This discrepancy leads to either a waste on the quantization levels or detail loss in reconstructed images. Therefore, we propose a novel activation quantizer, referred to as Dynamic Dual Trainable Bounds (DDTB), to accommodate the asymmetry of the activations. Specifically, DDTB innovates in: 1) A layer-wise quantizer with trainable upper and lower bounds to tackle the highly asymmetric activations. 2) A dynamic gate controller to adaptively adjust the upper and lower bounds at runtime to overcome the drastically varying activation ranges over different samples. To reduce the extra overhead, the dynamic gate controller is quantized to 2-bit and applied to only part of the SR networks according to the introduced dynamic intensity. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our DDTB exhibits significant performance improvements in ultra-low precision. For example, our DDTB achieves a 0.70dB PSNR increase on Urban100 benchmark when quantizing EDSR to 2-bit and scaling up output images to x4."