Learning Hierarchical Semantic Image Manipulation through Structured Representations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Seunghoon Hong, Xinchen Yan, Thomas S. Huang, Honglak Lee


Understanding, reasoning, and manipulating semantic concepts of images have been a fundamental research problem for decades. Previous work mainly focused on direct manipulation of natural image manifold through color strokes, key-points, textures, and holes-to-fill. In this work, we present a novel hierarchical framework for semantic image manipulation. Key to our hierarchical framework is that we employ structured semantic layout as our intermediate representations for manipulation. Initialized with coarse-level bounding boxes, our layout generator first creates pixel-wise semantic layout capturing the object shape, object-object interactions, and object-scene relations. Then our image generator fills in the pixel-level textures guided by the semantic layout. Such framework allows a user to manipulate images at object-level by adding, removing, and moving one bounding box at a time. Experimental evaluations demonstrate the advantages of the hierarchical manipulation framework over existing image generation and context hole-filing models, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Benefits of the hierarchical framework are further demonstrated in applications such as semantic object manipulation, interactive image editing, and data-driven image manipulation.