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SimAM: A Simple, Parameter-Free Attention Module for Convolutional Neural Networks

Lingxiao YANG · Ru-Yuan Zhang · Lida LI · Xiaohua Xie

Keywords: [ Neuroscience and Cognitive Science ] [ Optimization for Deep Networks ]


In this paper, we propose a conceptually simple but very effective attention module for Convolutional Neural Networks (ConvNets). In contrast to existing channel-wise and spatial-wise attention modules, our module instead infers 3-D attention weights for the feature map in a layer without adding parameters to the original networks. Specifically, we base on some well-known neuroscience theories and propose to optimize an energy function to find the importance of each neuron. We further derive a fast closed-form solution for the energy function, and show that the solution can be implemented in less than ten lines of code. Another advantage of the module is that most of the operators are selected based on the solution to the defined energy function, avoiding too many efforts for structure tuning. Quantitative evaluations on various visual tasks demonstrate that the proposed module is flexible and effective to improve the representation ability of many ConvNets. Our code is available at Pytorch-SimAM.

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