Research papers and code for "Jiaying Liu":
Inter prediction is an important module in video coding for temporal redundancy removal, where similar reference blocks are searched from previously coded frames and employed to predict the block to be coded. Although traditional video codecs can estimate and compensate for block-level motions, their inter prediction performance is still heavily affected by the remaining inconsistent pixel-wise displacement caused by irregular rotation and deformation. In this paper, we address the problem by proposing a deep frame interpolation network to generate additional reference frames in coding scenarios. First, we summarize the previous adaptive convolutions used for frame interpolation and propose a factorized kernel convolutional network to improve the modeling capacity and simultaneously keep its compact form. Second, to better train this network, multi-domain hierarchical constraints are introduced to regularize the training of our factorized kernel convolutional network. For spatial domain, we use a gradually down-sampled and up-sampled auto-encoder to generate the factorized kernels for frame interpolation at different scales. For quality domain, considering the inconsistent quality of the input frames, the factorized kernel convolution is modulated with quality-related features to learn to exploit more information from high quality frames. For frequency domain, a sum of absolute transformed difference loss that performs frequency transformation is utilized to facilitate network optimization from the view of coding performance. With the well-designed frame interpolation network regularized by multi-domain hierarchical constraints, our method surpasses HEVC on average 6.1% BD-rate saving and up to 11.0% BD-rate saving for the luma component under the random access configuration.

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Text effects are combinations of visual elements such as outlines, colors and textures of text, which can dramatically improve its artistry. Although text effects are extensively utilized in the design industry, they are usually created by human experts due to their extreme complexity, which is laborious and not practical for normal users. In recent years, some efforts have been made for automatic text effects transfer, however, the lack of data limits the capability of transfer models. To address this problem, we introduce a new text effects dataset, TE141K, with 141,081 text effects/glyph pairs in total. Our dataset consists of 152 professionally designed text effects, rendered on glyphs including English letters, Chinese characters, Arabic numerals, etc. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest dataset for text effects transfer as far. Based on this dataset, we propose a baseline approach named Text Effects Transfer GAN (TET-GAN), which supports the transfer of all 152 styles in one model and can efficiently extend to new styles. Finally, we conduct a comprehensive comparison where 14 style transfer models are benchmarked. Experimental results demonstrate the superiority of TET-GAN both qualitatively and quantitatively, and indicate that our dataset is effective and challenging.

* TE141K dataset is available at https://daooshee.github.io/TE141K/. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1812.06384
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Temporal modeling in videos is a fundamental yet challenging problem in computer vision. In this paper, we propose a novel Temporal Bilinear (TB) model to capture the temporal pairwise feature interactions between adjacent frames. Compared with some existing temporal methods which are limited in linear transformations, our TB model considers explicit quadratic bilinear transformations in the temporal domain for motion evolution and sequential relation modeling. We further leverage the factorized bilinear model in linear complexity and a bottleneck network design to build our TB blocks, which also constrains the parameters and computation cost. We consider two schemes in terms of the incorporation of TB blocks and the original 2D spatial convolutions, namely wide and deep Temporal Bilinear Networks (TBN). Finally, we perform experiments on several widely adopted datasets including Kinetics, UCF101 and HMDB51. The effectiveness of our TBNs is validated by comprehensive ablation analyses and comparisons with various state-of-the-art methods.

* Accepted by AAAI 2019
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In this work, we present a new framework for the stylization of text-based binary images. First, our method stylizes the stroke-based geometric shape like text, symbols and icons in the target binary image based on an input style image. Second, the composition of the stylized geometric shape and a background image is explored. To accomplish the task, we propose legibility-preserving structure and texture transfer algorithms, which progressively narrow the visual differences between the binary image and the style image. The stylization is then followed by a context-aware layout design algorithm, where cues for both seamlessness and aesthetics are employed to determine the optimal layout of the shape in the background. Given the layout, the binary image is seamlessly embedded into the background by texture synthesis under a context-aware boundary constraint. According to the contents of binary images, our method can be applied to many fields. We show that the proposed method is capable of addressing the unsupervised text stylization problem and is superior to state-of-the-art style transfer methods in automatic artistic typography creation. Besides, extensive experiments on various tasks, such as visual-textual presentation synthesis, icon/symbol rendering and structure-guided image inpainting, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

* Accepted by IEEE Trans. on Image Processing. Project page: http://www.icst.pku.edu.cn/struct/Projects/UTS.html
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In this paper, we address unsupervised pose-guided person image generation, which is known challenging due to non-rigid deformation. Unlike previous methods learning a rock-hard direct mapping between human bodies, we propose a new pathway to decompose the hard mapping into two more accessible subtasks, namely, semantic parsing transformation and appearance generation. Firstly, a semantic generative network is proposed to transform between semantic parsing maps, in order to simplify the non-rigid deformation learning. Secondly, an appearance generative network learns to synthesize semantic-aware textures. Thirdly, we demonstrate that training our framework in an end-to-end manner further refines the semantic maps and final results accordingly. Our method is generalizable to other semantic-aware person image generation tasks, eg, clothing texture transfer and controlled image manipulation. Experimental results demonstrate the superiority of our method on DeepFashion and Market-1501 datasets, especially in keeping the clothing attributes and better body shapes.

* Accepted to CVPR 2019 (Oral). Our project is available at https://github.com/SijieSong/person_generation_spt
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Text effects transfer technology automatically makes the text dramatically more impressive. However, previous style transfer methods either study the model for general style, which cannot handle the highly-structured text effects along the glyph, or require manual design of subtle matching criteria for text effects. In this paper, we focus on the use of the powerful representation abilities of deep neural features for text effects transfer. For this purpose, we propose a novel Texture Effects Transfer GAN (TET-GAN), which consists of a stylization subnetwork and a destylization subnetwork. The key idea is to train our network to accomplish both the objective of style transfer and style removal, so that it can learn to disentangle and recombine the content and style features of text effects images. To support the training of our network, we propose a new text effects dataset with as much as 64 professionally designed styles on 837 characters. We show that the disentangled feature representations enable us to transfer or remove all these styles on arbitrary glyphs using one network. Furthermore, the flexible network design empowers TET-GAN to efficiently extend to a new text style via one-shot learning where only one example is required. We demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method in generating high-quality stylized text over the state-of-the-art methods.

* Accepted by AAAI 2019. Code and dataset will be available at http://www.icst.pku.edu.cn/struct/Projects/TETGAN.html
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In this paper, we propose a new control framework called the moving endpoint control to restore images corrupted by different degradation levels in one model. The proposed control problem contains a restoration dynamics which is modeled by an RNN. The moving endpoint, which is essentially the terminal time of the associated dynamics, is determined by a policy network. We call the proposed model the dynamically unfolding recurrent restorer (DURR). Numerical experiments show that DURR is able to achieve state-of-the-art performances on blind image denoising and JPEG image deblocking. Furthermore, DURR can well generalize to images with higher degradation levels that are not included in the training stage.

* The first two authors contributed equally
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Retinex model is an effective tool for low-light image enhancement. It assumes that observed images can be decomposed into the reflectance and illumination. Most existing Retinex-based methods have carefully designed hand-crafted constraints and parameters for this highly ill-posed decomposition, which may be limited by model capacity when applied in various scenes. In this paper, we collect a LOw-Light dataset (LOL) containing low/normal-light image pairs and propose a deep Retinex-Net learned on this dataset, including a Decom-Net for decomposition and an Enhance-Net for illumination adjustment. In the training process for Decom-Net, there is no ground truth of decomposed reflectance and illumination. The network is learned with only key constraints including the consistent reflectance shared by paired low/normal-light images, and the smoothness of illumination. Based on the decomposition, subsequent lightness enhancement is conducted on illumination by an enhancement network called Enhance-Net, and for joint denoising there is a denoising operation on reflectance. The Retinex-Net is end-to-end trainable, so that the learned decomposition is by nature good for lightness adjustment. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method not only achieves visually pleasing quality for low-light enhancement but also provides a good representation of image decomposition.

* BMVC 2018(Oral). Dataset and Project page: https://daooshee.github.io/BMVC2018website/
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Intra prediction is an important component of modern video codecs, which is able to efficiently squeeze out the spatial redundancy in video frames. With preceding pixels as the context, traditional intra prediction schemes generate linear predictions based on several predefined directions (i.e. modes) for blocks to be encoded. However, these modes are relatively simple and their predictions may fail when facing blocks with complex textures, which leads to additional bits encoding the residue. In this paper, we design a Progressive Spatial Recurrent Neural Network (PS-RNN) that learns to conduct intra prediction. Specifically, our PS-RNN consists of three spatial recurrent units and progressively generates predictions by passing information along from preceding contents to blocks to be encoded. To make our network generate predictions considering both distortion and bit-rate, we propose to use Sum of Absolute Transformed Difference (SATD) as the loss function to train PS-RNN since SATD is able to measure rate-distortion cost of encoding a residue block. Moreover, our method supports variable-block-size for intra prediction, which is more practical in real coding conditions. The proposed intra prediction scheme achieves on average 2.4% bit-rate reduction on variable-block-size settings under the same reconstruction quality compared with HEVC.

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Image super-resolution (SR) methods essentially lead to a loss of some high-frequency (HF) information when predicting high-resolution (HR) images from low-resolution (LR) images without using external references. To address this issue, we additionally utilize online retrieved data to facilitate image SR in a unified deep framework. A novel dual high-frequency recovery network (DHN) is proposed to predict an HR image with three parts: an LR image, an internal inferred HF (IHF) map (HF missing part inferred solely from the LR image) and an external extracted HF (EHF) map. In particular, we infer the HF information based on both the LR image and similar HR references which are retrieved online. For the EHF map, we align the references with affine transformation and then in the aligned references, part of HF signals are extracted by the proposed DHN to compensate for the HF loss. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that our DHN achieves notably better performance than state-of-the-art SR methods.

* ISCAS 2018
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JPEG is one of the most commonly used standards among lossy image compression methods. However, JPEG compression inevitably introduces various kinds of artifacts, especially at high compression rates, which could greatly affect the Quality of Experience (QoE). Recently, convolutional neural network (CNN) based methods have shown excellent performance for removing the JPEG artifacts. Lots of efforts have been made to deepen the CNNs and extract deeper features, while relatively few works pay attention to the receptive field of the network. In this paper, we illustrate that the quality of output images can be significantly improved by enlarging the receptive fields in many cases. One step further, we propose a Dual-domain Multi-scale CNN (DMCNN) to take full advantage of redundancies on both the pixel and DCT domains. Experiments show that DMCNN sets a new state-of-the-art for the task of JPEG artifact removal.

* To appear in IEEE ICIP 2018
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Although Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have liberated their power in various computer vision tasks, the most important components of CNN, convolutional layers and fully connected layers, are still limited to linear transformations. In this paper, we propose a novel Factorized Bilinear (FB) layer to model the pairwise feature interactions by considering the quadratic terms in the transformations. Compared with existing methods that tried to incorporate complex non-linearity structures into CNNs, the factorized parameterization makes our FB layer only require a linear increase of parameters and affordable computational cost. To further reduce the risk of overfitting of the FB layer, a specific remedy called DropFactor is devised during the training process. We also analyze the connection between FB layer and some existing models, and show FB layer is a generalization to them. Finally, we validate the effectiveness of FB layer on several widely adopted datasets including CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and ImageNet, and demonstrate superior results compared with various state-of-the-art deep models.

* Accepted by ICCV 2017
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Neural Style Transfer has recently demonstrated very exciting results which catches eyes in both academia and industry. Despite the amazing results, the principle of neural style transfer, especially why the Gram matrices could represent style remains unclear. In this paper, we propose a novel interpretation of neural style transfer by treating it as a domain adaptation problem. Specifically, we theoretically show that matching the Gram matrices of feature maps is equivalent to minimize the Maximum Mean Discrepancy (MMD) with the second order polynomial kernel. Thus, we argue that the essence of neural style transfer is to match the feature distributions between the style images and the generated images. To further support our standpoint, we experiment with several other distribution alignment methods, and achieve appealing results. We believe this novel interpretation connects these two important research fields, and could enlighten future researches.

* Accepted by IJCAI 2017
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In this work, we explore the problem of generating fantastic special-effects for the typography. It is quite challenging due to the model diversities to illustrate varied text effects for different characters. To address this issue, our key idea is to exploit the analytics on the high regularity of the spatial distribution for text effects to guide the synthesis process. Specifically, we characterize the stylized patches by their normalized positions and the optimal scales to depict their style elements. Our method first estimates these two features and derives their correlation statistically. They are then converted into soft constraints for texture transfer to accomplish adaptive multi-scale texture synthesis and to make style element distribution uniform. It allows our algorithm to produce artistic typography that fits for both local texture patterns and the global spatial distribution in the example. Experimental results demonstrate the superiority of our method for various text effects over conventional style transfer methods. In addition, we validate the effectiveness of our algorithm with extensive artistic typography library generation.

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With the rapid development of social network and multimedia technology, customized image and video stylization has been widely used for various social-media applications. In this paper, we explore the problem of exemplar-based photo style transfer, which provides a flexible and convenient way to invoke fantastic visual impression. Rather than investigating some fixed artistic patterns to represent certain styles as was done in some previous works, our work emphasizes styles related to a series of visual effects in the photograph, e.g. color, tone, and contrast. We propose a photo stylistic brush, an automatic robust style transfer approach based on Superpixel-based BIpartite Graph (SuperBIG). A two-step bipartite graph algorithm with different granularity levels is employed to aggregate pixels into superpixels and find their correspondences. In the first step, with the extracted hierarchical features, a bipartite graph is constructed to describe the content similarity for pixel partition to produce superpixels. In the second step, superpixels in the input/reference image are rematched to form a new superpixel-based bipartite graph, and superpixel-level correspondences are generated by a bipartite matching. Finally, the refined correspondence guides SuperBIG to perform the transformation in a decorrelated color space. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method for transferring various styles of exemplar images, even for some challenging cases, such as night images.

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Many low-light enhancement methods ignore intensive noise in original images. As a result, they often simultaneously enhance the noise as well. Furthermore, extra denoising procedures adopted by most methods ruin the details. In this paper, we introduce a joint low-light enhancement and denoising strategy, aimed at obtaining well-enhanced low-light images while getting rid of the inherent noise issue simultaneously. The proposed method performs Retinex model based decomposition in a successive sequence, which sequentially estimates a piece-wise smoothed illumination and a noise-suppressed reflectance. After getting the illumination and reflectance map, we adjust the illumination layer and generate our enhancement result. In this noise-suppressed sequential decomposition process we enforce the spatial smoothness on each component and skillfully make use of weight matrices to suppress the noise and improve the contrast. Results of extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness and practicability of our method. It performs well for a wide variety of images, and achieves better or comparable quality compared with the state-of-the-art methods.

* Accepted by ISCAS 2018
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Despite the fact that many 3D human activity benchmarks being proposed, most existing action datasets focus on the action recognition tasks for the segmented videos. There is a lack of standard large-scale benchmarks, especially for current popular data-hungry deep learning based methods. In this paper, we introduce a new large scale benchmark (PKU-MMD) for continuous multi-modality 3D human action understanding and cover a wide range of complex human activities with well annotated information. PKU-MMD contains 1076 long video sequences in 51 action categories, performed by 66 subjects in three camera views. It contains almost 20,000 action instances and 5.4 million frames in total. Our dataset also provides multi-modality data sources, including RGB, depth, Infrared Radiation and Skeleton. With different modalities, we conduct extensive experiments on our dataset in terms of two scenarios and evaluate different methods by various metrics, including a new proposed evaluation protocol 2D-AP. We believe this large-scale dataset will benefit future researches on action detection for the community.

* 10 pages
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Human action recognition is an important task in computer vision. Extracting discriminative spatial and temporal features to model the spatial and temporal evolutions of different actions plays a key role in accomplishing this task. In this work, we propose an end-to-end spatial and temporal attention model for human action recognition from skeleton data. We build our model on top of the Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) with Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), which learns to selectively focus on discriminative joints of skeleton within each frame of the inputs and pays different levels of attention to the outputs of different frames. Furthermore, to ensure effective training of the network, we propose a regularized cross-entropy loss to drive the model learning process and develop a joint training strategy accordingly. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model,both on the small human action recognition data set of SBU and the currently largest NTU dataset.

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Deep neural networks (DNN) have shown unprecedented success in various computer vision applications such as image classification and object detection. However, it is still a common annoyance during the training phase, that one has to prepare at least thousands of labeled images to fine-tune a network to a specific domain. Recent study (Tommasi et al. 2015) shows that a DNN has strong dependency towards the training dataset, and the learned features cannot be easily transferred to a different but relevant task without fine-tuning. In this paper, we propose a simple yet powerful remedy, called Adaptive Batch Normalization (AdaBN) to increase the generalization ability of a DNN. By modulating the statistics in all Batch Normalization layers across the network, our approach achieves deep adaptation effect for domain adaptation tasks. In contrary to other deep learning domain adaptation methods, our method does not require additional components, and is parameter-free. It archives state-of-the-art performance despite its surprising simplicity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our method is complementary with other existing methods. Combining AdaBN with existing domain adaptation treatments may further improve model performance.

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