Energy-Based Generative Cooperative Saliency Prediction

06/25/2021 ∙ by Jing Zhang, et al. ∙ 8

Conventional saliency prediction models typically learn a deterministic mapping from images to the corresponding ground truth saliency maps. In this paper, we study the saliency prediction problem from the perspective of generative models by learning a conditional probability distribution over saliency maps given an image, and treating the prediction as a sampling process. Specifically, we propose a generative cooperative saliency prediction framework based on the generative cooperative networks, where a conditional latent variable model and a conditional energy-based model are jointly trained to predict saliency in a cooperative manner. We call our model the SalCoopNets. The latent variable model serves as a fast but coarse predictor to efficiently produce an initial prediction, which is then refined by the iterative Langevin revision of the energy-based model that serves as a fine predictor. Such a coarse-to-fine cooperative saliency prediction strategy offers the best of both worlds. Moreover, we generalize our framework to the scenario of weakly supervised saliency prediction, where saliency annotation of training images is partially observed, by proposing a cooperative learning while recovering strategy. Lastly, we show that the learned energy function can serve as a refinement module that can refine the results of other pre-trained saliency prediction models. Experimental results show that our generative model can achieve state-of-the-art performance. Our code is publicly available at: <https://github.com/JingZhang617/SalCoopNets>.

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