BRUL\`E: Barycenter-Regularized Unsupervised Landmark Extraction

Iaroslav Bespalov, Nazar Buzun, Dmitry V. Dylov

Unsupervised retrieval of image features is vital for many computer vision tasks where the annotation is missing or scarce. In this work, we propose a new unsupervised approach to detect the landmarks in images, and we validate it on the popular task of human face key-points extraction. The method is based on the idea of auto-encoding the wanted landmarks in the latent space while discarding the non-essential information in the image (and effectively preserving the interpretability). The interpretable latent space representation is achieved with the aid of a new two-step regularization paradigm. The first regularization step evaluates transport distance from a given set of landmarks to the average value (the barycenter by Wasserstein distance). The second regularization step controls deviations from the barycenter by applying random geometric deformations synchronously to the initial image and to the encoded landmarks. During decoding, we add style features generated from the noise and reconstruct the initial image by the generative adversarial network (GAN) with transposed convolutions modulated by this style. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach both in unsupervised and in semi-supervised training scenarios using 300-W, CelebA, and MAFL datasets. The proposed regularization paradigm is shown to prevent overfitting, and the detection quality is shown to improve beyond the supervised outcome.

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