We present a new method for synthesizing high-resolution photo-realistic images from semantic label maps using conditional generative adversarial networks (conditional GANs). Conditional GANs have enabled a variety of applications, but the results are often limited to low-resolution and still far from realistic. In this work, we generate 2048x1024 visually appealing results with a novel adversarial loss, as well as new multi-scale generator and discriminator architectures. Furthermore, we extend our framework to interactive visual manipulation with two additional features. First, we incorporate object instance segmentation information, which enables object manipulations such as removing/adding objects and changing the object category. Second, we propose a method to generate diverse results given the same input, allowing users to edit the object appearance interactively. Human opinion studies demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms existing methods, advancing both the quality and the resolution of deep image synthesis and editing.

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Text-to-image synthesis refers to computational methods which translate human written textual descriptions, in the form of keywords or sentences, into images with similar semantic meaning to the text. In earlier research, image synthesis relied mainly on word to image correlation analysis combined with supervised methods to find best alignment of the visual content matching to the text. Recent progress in deep learning (DL) has brought a new set of unsupervised deep learning methods, particularly deep generative models which are able to generate realistic visual images using suitably trained neural network models. In this paper, we review the most recent development in the text-to-image synthesis research domain. Our survey first introduces image synthesis and its challenges, and then reviews key concepts such as generative adversarial networks (GANs) and deep convolutional encoder-decoder neural networks (DCNN). After that, we propose a taxonomy to summarize GAN based text-to-image synthesis into four major categories: Semantic Enhancement GANs, Resolution Enhancement GANs, Diversity Enhancement GANS, and Motion Enhancement GANs. We elaborate the main objective of each group, and further review typical GAN architectures in each group. The taxonomy and the review outline the techniques and the evolution of different approaches, and eventually provide a clear roadmap to summarize the list of contemporaneous solutions that utilize GANs and DCNNs to generate enthralling results in categories such as human faces, birds, flowers, room interiors, object reconstruction from edge maps (games) etc. The survey will conclude with a comparison of the proposed solutions, challenges that remain unresolved, and future developments in the text-to-image synthesis domain.

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Most conditional generation tasks expect diverse outputs given a single conditional context. However, conditional generative adversarial networks (cGANs) often focus on the prior conditional information and ignore the input noise vectors, which contribute to the output variations. Recent attempts to resolve the mode collapse issue for cGANs are usually task-specific and computationally expensive. In this work, we propose a simple yet effective regularization term to address the mode collapse issue for cGANs. The proposed method explicitly maximizes the ratio of the distance between generated images with respect to the corresponding latent codes, thus encouraging the generators to explore more minor modes during training. This mode seeking regularization term is readily applicable to various conditional generation tasks without imposing training overhead or modifying the original network structures. We validate the proposed algorithm on three conditional image synthesis tasks including categorical generation, image-to-image translation, and text-to-image synthesis with different baseline models. Both qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed regularization method for improving diversity without loss of quality.

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Generating plausible hair image given limited guidance, such as sparse sketches or low-resolution image, has been made possible with the rise of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). Traditional image-to-image translation networks can generate recognizable results, but finer textures are usually lost and blur artifacts commonly exist. In this paper, we propose a two-phase generative model for high-quality hair image synthesis. The two-phase pipeline first generates a coarse image by an existing image translation model, then applies a re-generating network with self-enhancing capability to the coarse image. The self-enhancing capability is achieved by a proposed structure extraction layer, which extracts the texture and orientation map from a hair image. Extensive experiments on two tasks, Sketch2Hair and Hair Super-Resolution, demonstrate that our approach is able to synthesize plausible hair image with finer details, and outperforms the state-of-the-art.

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Semantic segmentation is one of the basic topics in computer vision, it aims to assign semantic labels to every pixel of an image. Unbalanced semantic label distribution could have a negative influence on segmentation accuracy. In this paper, we investigate using data augmentation approach to balance the semantic label distribution in order to improve segmentation performance. We propose using generative adversarial networks (GANs) to generate realistic images for improving the performance of semantic segmentation networks. Experimental results show that the proposed method can not only improve segmentation performance on those classes with low accuracy, but also obtain 1.3% to 2.1% increase in average segmentation accuracy. It shows that this augmentation method can boost accuracy and be easily applicable to any other segmentation models.

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In this paper, we propose Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) architectures that use Capsule Networks for image-synthesis. Based on the principal of positional-equivariance of features, Capsule Network's ability to encode spatial relationships between the features of the image helps it become a more powerful critic in comparison to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) used in current architectures for image synthesis. Our proposed GAN architectures learn the data manifold much faster and therefore, synthesize visually accurate images in significantly lesser number of training samples and training epochs in comparison to GANs and its variants that use CNNs. Apart from analyzing the quantitative results corresponding the images generated by different architectures, we also explore the reasons for the lower coverage and diversity explored by the GAN architectures that use CNN critics.

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We study the problem of video-to-video synthesis, whose goal is to learn a mapping function from an input source video (e.g., a sequence of semantic segmentation masks) to an output photorealistic video that precisely depicts the content of the source video. While its image counterpart, the image-to-image synthesis problem, is a popular topic, the video-to-video synthesis problem is less explored in the literature. Without understanding temporal dynamics, directly applying existing image synthesis approaches to an input video often results in temporally incoherent videos of low visual quality. In this paper, we propose a novel video-to-video synthesis approach under the generative adversarial learning framework. Through carefully-designed generator and discriminator architectures, coupled with a spatio-temporal adversarial objective, we achieve high-resolution, photorealistic, temporally coherent video results on a diverse set of input formats including segmentation masks, sketches, and poses. Experiments on multiple benchmarks show the advantage of our method compared to strong baselines. In particular, our model is capable of synthesizing 2K resolution videos of street scenes up to 30 seconds long, which significantly advances the state-of-the-art of video synthesis. Finally, we apply our approach to future video prediction, outperforming several state-of-the-art competing systems.

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Unpaired image-to-image translation is the problem of mapping an image in the source domain to one in the target domain, without requiring corresponding image pairs. To ensure the translated images are realistically plausible, recent works, such as Cycle-GAN, demands this mapping to be invertible. While, this requirement demonstrates promising results when the domains are unimodal, its performance is unpredictable in a multi-modal scenario such as in an image segmentation task. This is because, invertibility does not necessarily enforce semantic correctness. To this end, we present a semantically-consistent GAN framework, dubbed Sem-GAN, in which the semantics are defined by the class identities of image segments in the source domain as produced by a semantic segmentation algorithm. Our proposed framework includes consistency constraints on the translation task that, together with the GAN loss and the cycle-constraints, enforces that the images when translated will inherit the appearances of the target domain, while (approximately) maintaining their identities from the source domain. We present experiments on several image-to-image translation tasks and demonstrate that Sem-GAN improves the quality of the translated images significantly, sometimes by more than 20% on the FCN score. Further, we show that semantic segmentation models, trained with synthetic images translated via Sem-GAN, leads to significantly better segmentation results than other variants.

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Image-to-image translation tasks have been widely investigated with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and dual learning. However, existing models lack the ability to control the translated results in the target domain and their results usually lack of diversity in the sense that a fixed image usually leads to (almost) deterministic translation result. In this paper, we study a new problem, conditional image-to-image translation, which is to translate an image from the source domain to the target domain conditioned on a given image in the target domain. It requires that the generated image should inherit some domain-specific features of the conditional image from the target domain. Therefore, changing the conditional image in the target domain will lead to diverse translation results for a fixed input image from the source domain, and therefore the conditional input image helps to control the translation results. We tackle this problem with unpaired data based on GANs and dual learning. We twist two conditional translation models (one translation from A domain to B domain, and the other one from B domain to A domain) together for inputs combination and reconstruction while preserving domain independent features. We carry out experiments on men's faces from-to women's faces translation and edges to shoes&bags translations. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

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In this paper we propose a new conditional GAN for image captioning that enforces semantic alignment between images and captions through a co-attentive discriminator and a context-aware LSTM sequence generator. In order to train these sequence GANs, we empirically study two algorithms: Self-critical Sequence Training (SCST) and Gumbel Straight-Through. Both techniques are confirmed to be viable for training sequence GANs. However, SCST displays better gradient behavior despite not directly leveraging gradients from the discriminator. This ensures a stronger stability of sequence GANs training and ultimately produces models with improved results under human evaluation. Automatic evaluation of GAN trained captioning models is an open question. To remedy this, we introduce a new semantic score with strong correlation to human judgement. As a paradigm for evaluation, we suggest that the generalization ability of the captioner to Out of Context (OOC) scenes is an important criterion to assess generalization and composition. To this end, we propose an OOC dataset which, combined with our automatic metric of semantic score, is a new benchmark for the captioning community to measure the generalization ability of automatic image captioning. Under this new OOC benchmark, and on the traditional MSCOCO dataset, our models trained with SCST have strong performance in both semantic score and human evaluation.

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We propose a novel locally adaptive learning estimator for enhancing the inter- and intra- discriminative capabilities of Deep Neural Networks, which can be used as improved loss layer for semantic image segmentation tasks. Most loss layers compute pixel-wise cost between feature maps and ground truths, ignoring spatial layouts and interactions between neighboring pixels with same object category, and thus networks cannot be effectively sensitive to intra-class connections. Stride by stride, our method firstly conducts adaptive pooling filter operating over predicted feature maps, aiming to merge predicted distributions over a small group of neighboring pixels with same category, and then it computes cost between the merged distribution vector and their category label. Such design can make groups of neighboring predictions from same category involved into estimations on predicting correctness with respect to their category, and hence train networks to be more sensitive to regional connections between adjacent pixels based on their categories. In the experiments on Pascal VOC 2012 segmentation datasets, the consistently improved results show that our proposed approach achieves better segmentation masks against previous counterparts.

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