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Scaling Vision Transformers to 22 Billion Parameters

Josip Djolonga
Basil Mustafa
Piotr Padlewski
Justin Gilmer
Mathilde Caron
Rodolphe Jenatton
Michael Tschannen
Anurag Arnab
Carlos Riquelme
Fisher Yu
Avital Oliver
Fantine Huot
Mark Collier
Yi Tay
Filip Pavetić
Dustin Tran
Thomas Kipf
Arxiv (2023)


The scaling of Transformers has driven breakthrough capabilities for language models. At present, the largest large language models (LLMs) contain upwards of 100B parameters. Vision Transformers (ViT) have introduced the same architecture to image and video modeling, but these have not yet been successfully scaled to nearly the same degree; the largest dense ViT contains 4B parameters. We present a recipe for highly efficient training of a 22B-parameter ViT and perform a wide variety of experiments on the resulting model. When evaluated on downstream tasks (often with a lightweight linear model on frozen features) ViT22B demonstrates increasing performance with scale. We further observe other interesting benefits of scale, including an improved tradeoff between bias and performance, an improved alignment to human visual perception in terms of shape/texture bias, and improved robustness. ViT22B demonstrates the potential for "LLM-like'' scaling in vision, and provides key steps towards getting there.