DBQ: A Differentiable Branch Quantizer for Lightweight Deep Neural Networks

Hassan Dbouk, Hetul Sanghvi, Mahesh Mehendale, Naresh Shanbhag

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Deep neural networks have achieved state-of-the art performance on various computer vision tasks. However, their deployment on resource-constrained devices has been hindered due to their high computational and storage complexity. While various complexity reduction techniques, such as lightweight network architecture design and parameter quantization, have been successful in reducing the cost of implementing these networks, these methods have often been considered orthogonal. In reality, existing quantization techniques fail to replicate their success on lightweight architectures such as MobileNet. To this end, we present a novel fully differentiable non-uniform quantizer that can be seamlessly mapped onto efficient ternary-based dot product engines. We conduct comprehensive experiments on CIFAR-10, ImageNet, and Visual Wake Words datasets. The proposed quantizer (DBQ) successfully tackles the daunting task of aggressively quantizing lightweight networks such as MobileNetV1, MobileNetV2, and ShuffleNetV2. DBQ achieves state-of-the art results with minimal training overhead and provides the best (pareto-optimal) accuracy-complexity trade-off.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Vision – ECCV 2020 - 16th European Conference, 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAndrea Vedaldi, Horst Bischof, Thomas Brox, Jan-Michael Frahm
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030585822
StatePublished - 2020
Event16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 23 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12372 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Deep learning
  • Low-complexity neural networks
  • Quantization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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