Semantic Example Guided Image-to-Image Translation


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Many image-to-image (I2I) translation problems are in nature of high diversity that a single input may have various counterparts. Prior works proposed the multi-modal network that can build a many-to-many mapping between two visual domains. However, most of them are guided by sampled noises. Some others encode the reference images into a latent vector, by which the semantic information of the reference image will be washed away. In this work, we aim to provide a solution to control the output based on references semantically. Given a reference image and an input in another domain, a semantic matching is first performed between the two visual contents and generates the auxiliary image, which is explicitly encouraged to preserve semantic characteristics of the reference. A deep network then is used for I2I translation and the final outputs are expected to be semantically similar to both the input and the reference; however, no such paired data can satisfy that dual-similarity in a supervised fashion, so we build up a self-supervised framework to serve the training purpose. We improve the quality and diversity of the outputs by employing non-local blocks and a multi-task architecture. We assess the proposed method through extensive qualitative and quantitative evaluations and also presented comparisons with several state-of-art models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1654-1665
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Early online date11 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61672443, in part by Hong Kong GRF-RGC General Research Fund under Grants 9042322 (CityU 11200116), 9042489 (CityU 11206317), and 9042816 (CityU 11209819), in part by Hong Kong ECS under Grant 21209119, Hong Kong UGC, and in part by Start-up under Grant 7200607, CityU of Hong Kong.


  • Artificial neural networks
  • image generation
  • image representation


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