A Survey on Visual Transformer

Han, Kai, Wang, Yunhe, Chen, Hanting, Chen, Xinghao, Guo, Jianyuan, Liu, Zhenhua, Tang, Yehui, Xiao, An, Xu, Chunjing, Xu, Yixing, Yang, Zhaohui, Zhang, Yiman, Tao, Dacheng

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence 

Transformer is a type of deep neural network mainly based on self-attention mechanism which is originally applied in natural language processing field. Inspired by the strong representation ability of transformer, researchers propose to extend transformer for computer vision tasks. Transformer-based models show competitive and even better performance on various visual benchmarks compared to other network types such as convolutional networks and recurrent networks. With high performance and without inductive bias defined by human, transformer is receiving more and more attention from the visual community. In this paper we provide a literature review of these visual transformer models by categorizing them in different tasks and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. In particular, the main categories include the basic image classification, high-level vision, low-level vision and video processing. The self-attention in computer vision is also briefly revisited as self-attention is the base component in transformer. Efficient transformer methods are included for pushing transformer into real applications on the devices. Finally, we give a discussion about the challenges and further research directions for visual transformers.

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