Image aesthetics assessment (IAA) aims to estimate the aesthetics of images. Depending on the content of an image, diverse criteria need to be selected to assess its aesthetics. Existing works utilize pre-trained vision backbones based on content knowledge to learn image aesthetics. However, training those backbones is time-consuming and suffers from attention dispersion. Inspired by learnable queries in vision-language alignment, we propose the Image Aesthetics Assessment via Learnable Queries (IAA-LQ) approach. It adapts learnable queries to extract aesthetic features from pre-trained image features obtained from a frozen image encoder. Extensive experiments on real-world data demonstrate the advantages of IAA-LQ, beating the best state-of-the-art method by 2.2% and 2.1% in terms of SRCC and PLCC, respectively.
Instance segmentation in electron microscopy (EM) volumes is tough due to complex shapes and sparse annotations. Self-supervised learning helps but still struggles with intricate visual patterns in EM. To address this, we propose a pretraining framework that enhances multiscale consistency in EM volumes. Our approach leverages a Siamese network architecture, integrating both strong and weak data augmentations to effectively extract multiscale features. We uphold voxel-level coherence by reconstructing the original input data from these augmented instances. Furthermore, we incorporate cross-attention mechanisms to facilitate fine-grained feature alignment between these augmentations. Finally, we apply contrastive learning techniques across a feature pyramid, allowing us to distill distinctive representations spanning various scales. After pretraining on four large-scale EM datasets, our framework significantly improves downstream tasks like neuron and mitochondria segmentation, especially with limited finetuning data. It effectively captures voxel and feature consistency, showing promise for learning transferable representations for EM analysis.
Image fusion aims to generate a high-quality image from multiple images captured under varying conditions. The key problem of this task is to preserve complementary information while filtering out irrelevant information for the fused result. However, existing methods address this problem by leveraging static convolutional neural networks (CNNs), suffering two inherent limitations during feature extraction, i.e., being unable to handle spatial-variant contents and lacking guidance from multiple inputs. In this paper, we propose a novel mutual-guided dynamic network (MGDN) for image fusion, which allows for effective information utilization across different locations and inputs. Specifically, we design a mutual-guided dynamic filter (MGDF) for adaptive feature extraction, composed of a mutual-guided cross-attention (MGCA) module and a dynamic filter predictor, where the former incorporates additional guidance from different inputs and the latter generates spatial-variant kernels for different locations. In addition, we introduce a parallel feature fusion (PFF) module to effectively fuse local and global information of the extracted features. To further reduce the redundancy among the extracted features while simultaneously preserving their shared structural information, we devise a novel loss function that combines the minimization of normalized mutual information (NMI) with an estimated gradient mask. Experimental results on five benchmark datasets demonstrate that our proposed method outperforms existing methods on four image fusion tasks. The code and model are publicly available at: https://github.com/Guanys-dar/MGDN.
The development of learning-based methods has greatly improved the detection of synapses from electron microscopy (EM) images. However, training a model for each dataset is time-consuming and requires extensive annotations. Additionally, it is difficult to apply a learned model to data from different brain regions due to variations in data distributions. In this paper, we present AdaSyn, a two-stage segmentation-based framework for domain adaptive synapse detection with weak point annotations. In the first stage, we address the detection problem by utilizing a segmentation-based pipeline to obtain synaptic instance masks. In the second stage, we improve model generalizability on target data by regenerating square masks to get high-quality pseudo labels. Benefiting from our high-accuracy detection results, we introduce the distance nearest principle to match paired pre-synapses and post-synapses. In the WASPSYN challenge at ISBI 2023, our method ranks the 1st place.
Lightness adaptation is vital to the success of image processing to avoid unexpected visual deterioration, which covers multiple aspects, e.g., low-light image enhancement, image retouching, and inverse tone mapping. Existing methods typically work well on their trained lightness conditions but perform poorly in unknown ones due to their limited generalization ability. To address this limitation, we propose a novel generalized lightness adaptation algorithm that extends conventional normalization techniques through a channel filtering design, dubbed Channel Selective Normalization (CSNorm). The proposed CSNorm purposely normalizes the statistics of lightness-relevant channels and keeps other channels unchanged, so as to improve feature generalization and discrimination. To optimize CSNorm, we propose an alternating training strategy that effectively identifies lightness-relevant channels. The model equipped with our CSNorm only needs to be trained on one lightness condition and can be well generalized to unknown lightness conditions. Experimental results on multiple benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of CSNorm in enhancing the generalization ability for the existing lightness adaptation methods. Code is available at https://github.com/mdyao/CSNorm.
Recent interactive segmentation methods iteratively take source image, user guidance and previously predicted mask as the input without considering the invariant nature of the source image. As a result, extracting features from the source image is repeated in each interaction, resulting in substantial computational redundancy. In this work, we propose the Feature Decoupling-Recycling Network (FDRN), which decouples the modeling components based on their intrinsic discrepancies and then recycles components for each user interaction. Thus, the efficiency of the whole interactive process can be significantly improved. To be specific, we apply the Decoupling-Recycling strategy from three perspectives to address three types of discrepancies, respectively. First, our model decouples the learning of source image semantics from the encoding of user guidance to process two types of input domains separately. Second, FDRN decouples high-level and low-level features from stratified semantic representations to enhance feature learning. Third, during the encoding of user guidance, current user guidance is decoupled from historical guidance to highlight the effect of current user guidance. We conduct extensive experiments on 6 datasets from different domains and modalities, which demonstrate the following merits of our model: 1) superior efficiency than other methods, particularly advantageous in challenging scenarios requiring long-term interactions (up to 4.25x faster), while achieving favorable segmentation performance; 2) strong applicability to various methods serving as a universal enhancement technique; 3) well cross-task generalizability, e.g., to medical image segmentation, and robustness against misleading user guidance.
U-Net, known for its simple yet efficient architecture, is widely utilized for image processing tasks and is particularly suitable for deployment on neuromorphic chips. This paper introduces the novel concept of Spiking-UNet for image processing, which combines the power of Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) with the U-Net architecture. To achieve an efficient Spiking-UNet, we face two primary challenges: ensuring high-fidelity information propagation through the network via spikes and formulating an effective training strategy. To address the issue of information loss, we introduce multi-threshold spiking neurons, which improve the efficiency of information transmission within the Spiking-UNet. For the training strategy, we adopt a conversion and fine-tuning pipeline that leverage pre-trained U-Net models. During the conversion process, significant variability in data distribution across different parts is observed when utilizing skip connections. Therefore, we propose a connection-wise normalization method to prevent inaccurate firing rates. Furthermore, we adopt a flow-based training method to fine-tune the converted models, reducing time steps while preserving performance. Experimental results show that, on image segmentation and denoising, our Spiking-UNet achieves comparable performance to its non-spiking counterpart, surpassing existing SNN methods. Compared with the converted Spiking-UNet without fine-tuning, our Spiking-UNet reduces inference time by approximately 90\%. This research broadens the application scope of SNNs in image processing and is expected to inspire further exploration in the field of neuromorphic engineering. The code for our Spiking-UNet implementation is available at https://github.com/SNNresearch/Spiking-UNet.