KDD 2023
Workshop paper

Challenges in post-training quantization of Vision Transformers


Vision Transformers recently showed outstanding performance in computer vision tasks. However, those models are compute and memory intensive that require accelerators with a large amount of memory like NVIDIA A100 graphic processing unit for training and even for inference. Post-training quantization is an appealing compression method, as it does not require retraining the models and labels to tune the model. In this paper, we look in depth at multiple models in terms of size, architecture, and training procedure and provide guidelines on how to quantize the model to an 8-bit integer, both weights and activations. We perform a well-rounded study on the effects of quantization and sensitivity to the quantization error. Moreover, we show that applying mixed-data precision quantization works well for most vision transformer models achieving up to $ {90\%} $ compression ratio within a $ {2\%} $ top-1 accuracy drop. This kind of quantization offers a trade-off between memory, compute, and performance of the models that are deployable with the current software and hardware stack.