Spectral Convolutional Transformer: Harmonizing Real vs. Complex Multi-View Spectral Operators for Vision Transformer

Badri N. Patro,Vinay P. Namboodiri, Vijay S. Agneeswaran


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Transformers used in vision have been investigated through diverse architectures - ViT, PVT, and Swin. These have worked to improve the attention mechanism and make it more efficient. Differently, the need for including local information was felt, leading to incorporating convolutions in transformers such as CPVT and CvT. Global information is captured using a complex Fourier basis to achieve global token mixing through various methods, such as AFNO, GFNet, and Spectformer. We advocate combining three diverse views of data - local, global, and long-range dependence. We also investigate the simplest global representation using only the real domain spectral representation - obtained through the Hartley transform. We use a convolutional operator in the initial layers to capture local information. Through these two contributions, we are able to optimize and obtain a spectral convolution transformer (SCT) that provides improved performance over the state-of-the-art methods while reducing the number of parameters. Through extensive experiments, we show that SCT-C-small gives state-of-the-art performance on the ImageNet dataset and reaches 84.5% top-1 accuracy, while SCT-C-Large reaches 85.9% and SCT-C-Huge reaches 86.4%. We evaluate SCT on transfer learning on datasets such as CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, Oxford Flower, and Stanford Car. We also evaluate SCT on downstream tasks i.e. instance segmentation on the MSCOCO dataset. The project page is available on this webpage.
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