We are pleased to announce that two students in our group have successfully defended their doctoral thesis recently. Qiyang Hu and Attila Szabó are now holding the title of Doctor of Philosophy. Congratulations!
Both theses can be found here.
Prof. Dr. Paolo Favaro and the members of CVG congratulate Qiyang and Attila for their incredible achievement and wish them all the best for the future.
Learning Controllable Representations for Image Synthesis
In this thesis, our focus is learning a controllable representation and applying the learned controllable feature representation on images synthesis, video generation, and even 3D reconstruction. We propose different methods to disentangle the feature representation in neural network and analyze the challenges in disentanglement such as reference ambiguity and shortcut problem when using the weak label. We use the disentangled feature representation to transfer attributes between images such as exchanging hairstyle between two face images. Furthermore, we study the problem of how another type of feature, sketch, works in a neural network. The sketch can provide shape and contour of an object such as the silhouette of the side-view face. We leverage the silhouette constraint to improve the 3D face reconstruction from 2D images. The sketch can also provide the moving directions of one object, thus we investigate how one can manipulate the object to follow the trajectory provided by a user sketch. We propose a method to automatically generate video clips from a single image input using the sketch as motion and trajectory guidance to animate the object in that image. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approaches on several synthetic and real datasets.
Learning Interpretable Representations of Images
Computers represent images with pixels and each pixel contains three numbers for red, green and blue colour values. These numbers are meaningless for humans and they are mostly useless when used directly with classical machine learning techniques like linear classifiers. Interpretable representations are the attributes that humans understand: the colour of the hair, viewpoint of a car or the 3D shape of the object in the scene. Many computer vision tasks can be viewed as learning interpretable representations, for example a supervised classification algorithm directly learns to represent images with their class labels.
In this work we aim to learn interpretable representations (or features) indirectly with lower levels of supervision. This approach has the advantage of cost savings on dataset annotations and the flexibility of using the features for multiple follow-up tasks. We made contributions in three main areas: weakly supervised learning, unsupervised learning and 3D reconstruction.
In the weakly supervised case we use image pairs as supervision. Each pair shares a common attribute and differs in a varying attribute. We propose a training method that learns to separate the attributes into separate feature vectors. These features then are used for attribute transfer and classification. We also show theoretical results on the ambiguities of the learning task and the ways to avoid degenerate solutions.
We show a method for unsupervised representation learning, that separates semantically meaningful concepts. We explain and show ablation studies how the components of our proposed method work: a mixing autoencoder, a generative adversarial net and a classifier.
We propose a method for learning single image 3D reconstruction. It is done using only the images, no human annotation, stereo, synthetic renderings or ground truth depth map is needed. We train a generative model that learns the 3D shape distribution and an encoder to reconstruct the 3D shape. For that we exploit the notion of image realism. It means that the 3D reconstruction of the object has to look realistic when it is rendered from different random angles. We prove the efficacy of our method from first principles.