T-Stitch: Accelerating Sampling in Pre-Trained Diffusion Models with Trajectory Stitching


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Sampling from diffusion probabilistic models (DPMs) is often expensive for high-quality image generation and typically requires many steps with a large model. In this paper, we introduce sampling Trajectory Stitching T-Stitch, a simple yet efficient technique to improve the sampling efficiency with little or no generation degradation. Instead of solely using a large DPM for the entire sampling trajectory, T-Stitch first leverages a smaller DPM in the initial steps as a cheap drop-in replacement of the larger DPM and switches to the larger DPM at a later stage. Our key insight is that different diffusion models learn similar encodings under the same training data distribution and smaller models are capable of generating good global structures in the early steps. Extensive experiments demonstrate that T-Stitch is training-free, generally applicable for different architectures, and complements most existing fast sampling techniques with flexible speed and quality trade-offs. On DiT-XL, for example, 40 faster DiT-S without performance drop on class-conditional ImageNet generation. We further show that our method can also be used as a drop-in technique to not only accelerate the popular pretrained stable diffusion (SD) models but also improve the prompt alignment of stylized SD models from the public model zoo. Code is released at https://github.com/NVlabs/T-Stitch
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