BOAT: Bilateral Local Attention Vision Transformer

Tan Yu (Baidu Research),* Gangming Zhao (The University of Hong Kong), Ping Li (Baidu), Yizhou Yu (The University of Hong Kong)
The 33rd British Machine Vision Conference


Vision Transformers achieved outstanding performance in many computer vision tasks. Early Vision Transformers such as ViT and DeiT adopt global self-attention, which is computationally expensive when the number of patches is large. To improve the efficiency, recent Vision Transformers adopt local self-attention mechanisms, where self-attention is computed within local windows. Despite the fact that window-based local self-attention significantly boosts efficiency, it fails to capture the relationships between distant but similar patches in the image plane. To overcome this limitation of image-space local attention, in this paper, we further exploit the locality of patches in the feature space. We group the patches into multiple clusters using their features, and self-attention is computed within every cluster. Such feature-space local attention effectively captures the connections between patches across different local windows but still relevant. We propose a Bilateral lOcal Attention vision Transformer (BOAT), which integrates feature-space local attention with image-space local attention. We further integrate BOAT with both Swin and CSWin models, and extensive experiments on several benchmark datasets demonstrate that our BOAT-CSWin model clearly and consistently outperforms existing state-of-the-art CNN models and vision Transformers.



author    = {Tan Yu and Gangming Zhao and Ping Li and Yizhou Yu},
title     = {BOAT: Bilateral Local Attention Vision Transformer},
booktitle = {33rd British Machine Vision Conference 2022, {BMVC} 2022, London, UK, November 21-24, 2022},
publisher = {{BMVA} Press},
year      = {2022},
url       = {}

Copyright © 2022 The British Machine Vision Association and Society for Pattern Recognition
The British Machine Vision Conference is organised by The British Machine Vision Association and Society for Pattern Recognition. The Association is a Company limited by guarantee, No.2543446, and a non-profit-making body, registered in England and Wales as Charity No.1002307 (Registered Office: Dept. of Computer Science, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK).

Imprint | Data Protection