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On Distillation of Guided Diffusion Models

Chenlin Meng · Robin Rombach · Ruiqi Gao · Diederik Kingma · Stefano Ermon · Jonathan Ho · Tim Salimans

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 186
award Award Candidate
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Classifier-free guided diffusion models have recently been shown to be highly effective at high-resolution image generation, and they have been widely used in large-scale diffusion frameworks including DALLĀ·E 2, Stable Diffusion and Imagen. However, a downside of classifier-free guided diffusion models is that they are computationally expensive at inference time since they require evaluating two diffusion models, a class-conditional model and an unconditional model, tens to hundreds of times. To deal with this limitation, we propose an approach to distilling classifier-free guided diffusion models into models that are fast to sample from: Given a pre-trained classifier-free guided model, we first learn a single model to match the output of the combined conditional and unconditional models, and then we progressively distill that model to a diffusion model that requires much fewer sampling steps. For standard diffusion models trained on the pixel-space, our approach is able to generate images visually comparable to that of the original model using as few as 4 sampling steps on ImageNet 64x64 and CIFAR-10, achieving FID/IS scores comparable to that of the original model while being up to 256 times faster to sample from. For diffusion models trained on the latent-space (e.g., Stable Diffusion), our approach is able to generate high-fidelity images using as few as 1 to 4 denoising steps, accelerating inference by at least 10-fold compared to existing methods on ImageNet 256x256 and LAION datasets. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on text-guided image editing and inpainting, where our distilled model is able to generate high-quality results using as few as 2-4 denoising steps.

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