Fourier or Wavelet bases as counterpart self-attention in spikformer for efficient visual classification


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Energy-efficient spikformer has been proposed by integrating the biologically plausible spiking neural network (SNN) and artificial Transformer, whereby the Spiking Self-Attention (SSA) is used to achieve both higher accuracy and lower computational cost. However, it seems that self-attention is not always necessary, especially in sparse spike-form calculation manners. In this paper, we innovatively replace vanilla SSA (using dynamic bases calculating from Query and Key) with spike-form Fourier Transform, Wavelet Transform, and their combinations (using fixed triangular or wavelets bases), based on a key hypothesis that both of them use a set of basis functions for information transformation. Hence, the Fourier-or-Wavelet-based spikformer (FWformer) is proposed and verified in visual classification tasks, including both static image and event-based video datasets. The FWformer can achieve comparable or even higher accuracies (0.4%-1.5%), higher running speed (9%-51% for training and 19%-70% for inference), reduced theoretical energy consumption (20%-25%), and reduced GPU memory usage (4%-26%), compared to the standard spikformer. Our result indicates the continuous refinement of new Transformers, that are inspired either by biological discovery (spike-form), or information theory (Fourier or Wavelet Transform), is promising.
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