Research papers and code for "Kaiyue Pang":
To see is to sketch -- free-hand sketching naturally builds ties between human and machine vision. In this paper, we present a novel approach for translating an object photo to a sketch, mimicking the human sketching process. This is an extremely challenging task because the photo and sketch domains differ significantly. Furthermore, human sketches exhibit various levels of sophistication and abstraction even when depicting the same object instance in a reference photo. This means that even if photo-sketch pairs are available, they only provide weak supervision signal to learn a translation model. Compared with existing supervised approaches that solve the problem of D(E(photo)) -> sketch, where E($\cdot$) and D($\cdot$) denote encoder and decoder respectively, we take advantage of the inverse problem (e.g., D(E(sketch)) -> photo), and combine with the unsupervised learning tasks of within-domain reconstruction, all within a multi-task learning framework. Compared with existing unsupervised approaches based on cycle consistency (i.e., D(E(D(E(photo)))) -> photo), we introduce a shortcut consistency enforced at the encoder bottleneck (e.g., D(E(photo)) -> photo) to exploit the additional self-supervision. Both qualitative and quantitative results show that the proposed model is superior to a number of state-of-the-art alternatives. We also show that the synthetic sketches can be used to train a better fine-grained sketch-based image retrieval (FG-SBIR) model, effectively alleviating the problem of sketch data scarcity.

* To appear in CVPR2018
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Modelling human free-hand sketches has become topical recently, driven by practical applications such as fine-grained sketch based image retrieval (FG-SBIR). Sketches are clearly related to photo edge-maps, but a human free-hand sketch of a photo is not simply a clean rendering of that photo's edge map. Instead there is a fundamental process of abstraction and iconic rendering, where overall geometry is warped and salient details are selectively included. In this paper we study this sketching process and attempt to invert it. We model this inversion by translating iconic free-hand sketches to contours that resemble more geometrically realistic projections of object boundaries, and separately factorise out the salient added details. This factorised re-representation makes it easier to match a free-hand sketch to a photo instance of an object. Specifically, we propose a novel unsupervised image style transfer model based on enforcing a cyclic embedding consistency constraint. A deep FG-SBIR model is then formulated to accommodate complementary discriminative detail from each factorised sketch for better matching with the corresponding photo. Our method is evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively to demonstrate its superiority over a number of state-of-the-art alternatives for style transfer and FG-SBIR.

* Accepted to ECCV 2018
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In this work we aim to develop a universal sketch grouper. That is, a grouper that can be applied to sketches of any category in any domain to group constituent strokes/segments into semantically meaningful object parts. The first obstacle to this goal is the lack of large-scale datasets with grouping annotation. To overcome this, we contribute the largest sketch perceptual grouping (SPG) dataset to date, consisting of 20,000 unique sketches evenly distributed over 25 object categories. Furthermore, we propose a novel deep universal perceptual grouping model. The model is learned with both generative and discriminative losses. The generative losses improve the generalisation ability of the model to unseen object categories and datasets. The discriminative losses include a local grouping loss and a novel global grouping loss to enforce global grouping consistency. We show that the proposed model significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art groupers. Further, we show that our grouper is useful for a number of sketch analysis tasks including sketch synthesis and fine-grained sketch-based image retrieval (FG-SBIR).

* Accepted ECCV 2018
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We propose a deep hashing framework for sketch retrieval that, for the first time, works on a multi-million scale human sketch dataset. Leveraging on this large dataset, we explore a few sketch-specific traits that were otherwise under-studied in prior literature. Instead of following the conventional sketch recognition task, we introduce the novel problem of sketch hashing retrieval which is not only more challenging, but also offers a better testbed for large-scale sketch analysis, since: (i) more fine-grained sketch feature learning is required to accommodate the large variations in style and abstraction, and (ii) a compact binary code needs to be learned at the same time to enable efficient retrieval. Key to our network design is the embedding of unique characteristics of human sketch, where (i) a two-branch CNN-RNN architecture is adapted to explore the temporal ordering of strokes, and (ii) a novel hashing loss is specifically designed to accommodate both the temporal and abstract traits of sketches. By working with a 3.8M sketch dataset, we show that state-of-the-art hashing models specifically engineered for static images fail to perform well on temporal sketch data. Our network on the other hand not only offers the best retrieval performance on various code sizes, but also yields the best generalization performance under a zero-shot setting and when re-purposed for sketch recognition. Such superior performances effectively demonstrate the benefit of our sketch-specific design.

* Accepted by CVPR2018
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