Reusing Discriminators for Encoding: Towards Unsupervised Image-to-Image Translation

Unsupervised image-to-image translation is a central task in computer vision. Current translation frameworks will abandon the discriminator once the training process is completed... This paper contends a novel role of the discriminator by reusing it for encoding the images of the target domain. The proposed architecture, termed as NICE-GAN, exhibits two advantageous patterns over previous approaches: First, it is more compact since no independent encoding component is required; Second, this plug-in encoder is directly trained by the adversary loss, making it more informative and trained more effectively if a multi-scale discriminator is applied. The main issue in NICE-GAN is the coupling of translation with discrimination along the encoder, which could incur training inconsistency when we play the min-max game via GAN. To tackle this issue, we develop a decoupled training strategy by which the encoder is only trained when maximizing the adversary loss while keeping frozen otherwise. Extensive experiments on four popular benchmarks demonstrate the superior performance of NICE-GAN over state-of-the-art methods in terms of FID, KID, and also human preference. Comprehensive ablation studies are also carried out to isolate the validity of each proposed component. Our codes are available at https://github.com/alpc91/NICE-GAN-pytorch. read more

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