Deep Image Compression Towards Machine Vision : A Unified Optimization Framework

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Online published19 Dec 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 19 Dec 2022


There has been an increasing consensus that the machine vision is gradually replacing human vision in numerous tasks, with the demonstrated success of artificial intelligence. In this paper, we propose a deep image compression scheme towards machine vision, with the principle of “begin with the end in mind”. In particular, a unified optimization scheme for end-to-end image compression towards machine vision is proposed, accompanied with the dedicated variable bitrate coding and generalized rate-accuracy optimization. The presented framework, which jointly optimizes the compression and the machine vision networks, exploits the utmost potential of robust machine vision for compressed images. The variable bitrate modules towards machine vision, which effectively shrink the storage space for model parameters, are further developed to accommodate to the real-world applications. Moreover, an iterative algorithm is presented to achieve the optimality in terms of the generalized rate-accuracy towards machine vision. Experimental results show that the proposed framework achieves the state-of-the-art object detection performance among the end-to-end image compression methods: in the exploration of Video Coding for Machines (VCM) in Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), and the proposed framework achieves 31.69% and 23.96% BD-rate gains compared with the VCM official test datasets, the Open Images dataset and the TVD dataset respectively, which are generated using the state-of-the-art standard Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard. The generalization capability of the proposed framework is also verified with instance segmentation under various scenarios.

Research Area(s)

  • Bit rate, compact visual representation, Feature extraction, Image coding, Image compression, machine vision, Machine vision, Task analysis, Transform coding, Visualization