Embracing Compact and Robust Architectures for Multi-Exposure Image Fusion

Zhu Liu, Jinyuan Liu, Guanyao Wu, Xin Fan, Risheng Liu

In recent years, deep learning-based methods have achieved remarkable progress in multi-exposure image fusion. However, existing methods rely on aligned image pairs, inevitably generating artifacts when faced with device shaking in real-world scenarios. Moreover, these learning-based methods are built on handcrafted architectures and operations by increasing network depth or width, neglecting different exposure characteristics. As a result, these direct cascaded architectures with redundant parameters fail to achieve highly effective inference time and lead to massive computation. To alleviate these issues, in this paper, we propose a search-based paradigm, involving self-alignment and detail repletion modules for robust multi-exposure image fusion. By utilizing scene relighting and deformable convolutions, the self-alignment module can accurately align images despite camera movement. Furthermore, by imposing a hardware-sensitive constraint, we introduce neural architecture search to discover compact and efficient networks, investigating effective feature representation for fusion. We realize the state-of-the-art performance in comparison to various competitive schemes, yielding a 4.02% and 29.34% improvement in PSNR for general and misaligned scenarios, respectively, while reducing inference time by 68.1%. The source code will be available at https://github.com/LiuZhu-CV/CRMEF.

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