End-to-End Single Image Fog Removal using Enhanced Cycle Consistent Adversarial Networks

Wei Liu, Xianxu Hou, Jiang Duan, Guoping Qiu

Single image defogging is a classical and challenging problem in computer vision. Existing methods towards this problem mainly include handcrafted priors based methods that rely on the use of the atmospheric degradation model and learning based approaches that require paired fog-fogfree training example images. In practice, however, prior-based methods are prone to failure due to their own limitations and paired training data are extremely difficult to acquire. Inspired by the principle of CycleGAN network, we have developed an end-to-end learning system that uses unpaired fog and fogfree training images, adversarial discriminators and cycle consistency losses to automatically construct a fog removal system. Similar to CycleGAN, our system has two transformation paths; one maps fog images to a fogfree image domain and the other maps fogfree images to a fog image domain. Instead of one stage mapping, our system uses a two stage mapping strategy in each transformation path to enhance the effectiveness of fog removal. Furthermore, we make explicit use of prior knowledge in the networks by embedding the atmospheric degradation principle and a sky prior for mapping fogfree images to the fog images domain. In addition, we also contribute the first real world nature fog-fogfree image dataset for defogging research. Our multiple real fog images dataset (MRFID) contains images of 200 natural outdoor scenes. For each scene, there are one clear image and corresponding four foggy images of different fog densities manually selected from a sequence of images taken by a fixed camera over the course of one year. Qualitative and quantitative comparison against several state-of-the-art methods on both synthetic and real world images demonstrate that our approach is effective and performs favorably for recovering a clear image from a foggy image.

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