Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Dor Arad Hudson, Larry Zitnick
We introduce the GANformer2 model, an iterative object-oriented transformer, explored for the task of generative modeling. The network incorporates strong and explicit structural priors, to reflect the compositional nature of visual scenes, and synthesizes images through a sequential process. It operates in two stages: a fast and lightweight planning phase, where we draft a high-level scene layout, followed by an attention-based execution phase, where the layout is being refined, evolving into a rich and detailed picture. Our model moves away from conventional black-box GAN architectures that feature a flat and monolithic latent space towards a transparent design that encourages efficiency, controllability and interpretability. We demonstrate GANformer2's strengths and qualities through a careful evaluation over a range of datasets, from multi-object CLEVR scenes to the challenging COCO images, showing it successfully achieves state-of-the-art performance in terms of visual quality, diversity and consistency. Further experiments demonstrate the model's disentanglement and provide a deeper insight into its generative process, as it proceeds step-by-step from a rough initial sketch, to a detailed layout that accounts for objects' depths and dependencies, and up to the final high-resolution depiction of vibrant and intricate real-world scenes. See https://github.com/dorarad/gansformer for model implementation.