SkipNet: Learning Dynamic Routing in Convolutional Networks. While deeper convolutional networks are needed to achieve maximum accuracy in visual perception tasks, for many inputs shallower networks are sufficient. We exploit this observation by learning to skip convolutional layers on a per-input basis. We introduce SkipNet, a modified residual network, that uses a gating network to selectively skip convolutional blocks based on the activations of the previous layer. We formulate the dynamic skipping problem in the context of sequential decision making and propose a hybrid learning algorithm that combines supervised learning and reinforcement learning to address the challenges of non-differentiable skipping decisions. We show SkipNet reduces computation by 30-90% while preserving the accuracy of the original model on four benchmark datasets and outperforms the state-of-the-art dynamic networks and static compression methods. We also qualitatively evaluate the gating policy to reveal a relationship between image scale and saliency and the number of layers skipped.
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