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  1. Extracting roads in aerial images has numerous applications in artificial intelligence and multimedia computing, including traffic pattern analysis and parking space planning. Learning deep neural networks, though very successful, demands vast amounts of high-quality annotations, of which acquisition is time-consuming and expensive. In this work, we propose a semi-supervised approach for image-based road extraction where only a small set of labeled images are available for training to address this challenge. We design a pixel-wise contrastive loss to self-supervise the network training to utilize the large corpus of unlabeled images. The key idea is to identify pairs of overlapping image regions (positive) or non-overlapping image regions (negative) and encourage the network to make similar outputs for positive pairs or dissimilar outputs for negative pairs. We also develop a negative sampling strategy to filter false negative samples during the process. An iterative procedure is introduced to apply the network over raw images to generate pseudo-labels, filter and select high-quality labels with the proposed contrastive loss, and re-train the network with the enlarged training dataset. We repeat these iterative steps until convergence. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed methods by performing extensive experiments on the public SpaceNet3 and DeepGlobe Road datasets. Results show that our proposed method achieves state-of-the-art results on public image segmentation benchmarks and significantly outperforms other semi-supervised methods.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)
    This paper presents a policy-driven sequential image augmentation approach for image-related tasks. Our approach applies a sequence of image transformations (e.g., translation, rotation) over a training image, one transformation at a time, with the augmented image from the previous time step treated as the input for the next transformation. This sequential data augmentation substantially improves sample diversity, leading to improved test performance, especially for data-hungry models (e.g., deep neural networks). However, the search for the optimal transformation of each image at each time step of the sequence has high complexity due to its combination nature. To address this challenge, we formulate the search task as a sequential decision process and introduce a deep policy network that learns to produce transformations based on image content. We also develop an iterative algorithm to jointly train a classifier and the policy network in the reinforcement learning setting. The immediate reward of a potential transformation is defined to encourage transformations producing hard samples for the current classifier. At each iteration, we employ the policy network to augment the training dataset, train a classifier with the augmented data, and train the policy net with the aid of the classifier. We apply the above approach to both public image classification benchmarks and a newly collected image dataset for material recognition. Comparisons to alternative augmentation approaches show that our policy-driven approach achieves comparable or improved classification performance while using significantly fewer augmented images. The code is available at 
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