RGB No More: Minimally-Decoded JPEG Vision Transformers

Jeongsoo Park · Justin Johnson

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 165


Most neural networks for computer vision are designed to infer using RGB images. However, these RGB images are commonly encoded in JPEG before saving to disk; decoding them imposes an unavoidable overhead for RGB networks. Instead, our work focuses on training Vision Transformers (ViT) directly from the encoded features of JPEG. This way, we can avoid most of the decoding overhead, accelerating data load. Existing works have studied this aspect but they focus on CNNs. Due to how these encoded features are structured, CNNs require heavy modification to their architecture to accept such data. Here, we show that this is not the case for ViTs. In addition, we tackle data augmentation directly on these encoded features, which to our knowledge, has not been explored in-depth for training in this setting. With these two improvements -- ViT and data augmentation -- we show that our ViT-Ti model achieves up to 39.2% faster training and 17.9% faster inference with no accuracy loss compared to the RGB counterpart.

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