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How to Handle Sketch-Abstraction in Sketch-Based Image Retrieval?

Subhadeep Koley · Ayan Kumar Bhunia · Aneeshan Sain · Pinaki Nath Chowdhury · Tao Xiang · Yi-Zhe Song

Arch 4A-E Poster #219
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Thu 20 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT

Abstract: In this paper, we propose a novel abstraction-aware sketch-based image retrieval framework capable of handling sketch abstraction at varied levels. Prior works had mainly focused on tackling sub-factors such as drawing style and order, we instead attempt to model abstraction as a whole, and propose feature-level and retrieval granularity-level designs so that the system builds into its DNA the necessary means to interpret abstraction. On learning abstraction-aware features, we for the first-time harness the rich semantic embedding of pre-trained StyleGAN model, together with a novel abstraction-level mapper that deciphers the level of abstraction and dynamically selects appropriate dimensions in the feature matrix correspondingly, to construct a feature matrix embedding that can be freely traversed to accommodate different levels of abstraction. For granularity-level abstraction understanding, we dictate that the retrieval model should not treat all abstraction-levels equally and introduce a differentiable surrogate $\texttt{Acc.@q}$ loss to inject that understanding into the system. Different to the gold-standard triplet loss, our $\texttt{Acc.@q}$ loss uniquely allows a sketch to narrow/broaden its focus in terms of how stringent the evaluation should be -- the more abstract a sketch, the less stringent (higher $q$). Extensive experiments depict our method to outperform existing state-of-the-arts in standard SBIR tasks along with challenging scenarios like early retrieval, forensic sketch-photo matching, and style-invariant retrieval.

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