Discernible Image Compression

17 Feb 2020  ·  Zhaohui Yang, Yunhe Wang, Chang Xu, Peng Du, Chao Xu, Chunjing Xu, Qi Tian ·

Image compression, as one of the fundamental low-level image processing tasks, is very essential for computer vision. Tremendous computing and storage resources can be preserved with a trivial amount of visual information. Conventional image compression methods tend to obtain compressed images by minimizing their appearance discrepancy with the corresponding original images, but pay little attention to their efficacy in downstream perception tasks, e.g., image recognition and object detection. Thus, some of compressed images could be recognized with bias. In contrast, this paper aims to produce compressed images by pursuing both appearance and perceptual consistency. Based on the encoder-decoder framework, we propose using a pre-trained CNN to extract features of the original and compressed images, and making them similar. Thus the compressed images are discernible to subsequent tasks, and we name our method as Discernible Image Compression (DIC). In addition, the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) is employed to minimize the difference between feature distributions. The resulting compression network can generate images with high image quality and preserve the consistent perception in the feature domain, so that these images can be well recognized by pre-trained machine learning models. Experiments on benchmarks demonstrate that images compressed by using the proposed method can also be well recognized by subsequent visual recognition and detection models. For instance, the mAP value of compressed images by DIC is about 0.6% higher than that of using compressed images by conventional methods.

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