Underwater Image Enhancement via Learning Water Type Desensitized Representations

We present a novel underwater image enhancement method termed SCNet to improve the image quality meanwhile cope with the degradation diversity caused by the water. SCNet is based on normalization schemes across both spatial and channel dimensions with the key idea of learning water type desensitized features. Specifically, we apply whitening to de-correlate activations across spatial dimensions for each instance in a mini-batch. We also eliminate channel-wise correlation by standardizing and re-injecting the first two moments of the activations across channels. The normalization schemes of spatial and channel dimensions are performed at each scale of the U-Net to obtain multi-scale representations. With such water type irrelevant encodings, the decoder can easily reconstruct the clean signal and be unaffected by the distortion types. Experimental results on two real-world underwater image datasets show that our approach can successfully enhance images with diverse water types, and achieves competitive performance in visual quality improvement.

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