ThreshNet: An Efficient DenseNet using Threshold Mechanism to Reduce Connections

Rui-Yang Ju, Ting-Yu Lin, Jia-Hao Jian, Jen-Shiun Chiang, Wei-Bin Yang

With the continuous development of neural networks in computer vision tasks, more and more network architectures have achieved outstanding success. As one of the most advanced neural network architectures, DenseNet shortcuts all feature maps to solve the problem of model depth. Although this network architecture has excellent accuracy at low MACs (multiplications and accumulations), it takes excessive inference time. To solve this problem, HarDNet reduces the connections between feature maps, making the remaining connections resemble harmonic waves. However, this compression method may result in decreasing model accuracy and increasing MACs and model size. This network architecture only reduces the memory access time, its overall performance still needs to be improved. Therefore, we propose a new network architecture using threshold mechanism to further optimize the method of connections. Different numbers of connections for different convolutional layers are discarded to compress the feature maps in ThreshNet. The proposed network architecture used three datasets, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN, to evaluate the performance for image classifications. Experimental results show that ThreshNet achieves up to 60% reduction in inference time compared to DenseNet, and up to 35% faster training speed and 20% reduction in error rate compared to HarDNet on these datasets.

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