I2C: Invertible Continuous Codec for High-Fidelity Variable-Rate Image Compression.

IEEE transactions on pattern analysis and machine intelligence(2024)

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摘要
Lossy image compression is a fundamental technology in media transmission and storage. Variable-rate approaches have recently gained much attention to avoid the usage of a set of different models for compressing images at different rates. During the media sharing, multiple re-encodings with different rates would be inevitably executed. However, existing Variational Autoencoder (VAE)-based approaches would be readily corrupted in such circumstances, resulting in the occurrence of strong artifacts and the destruction of image fidelity. Based on the theoretical findings of preserving image fidelity via invertible transformation, we aim to tackle the issue of high-fidelity fine variable-rate image compression and thus propose the Invertible Continuous Codec (I2C). We implement the I2C in a mathematical invertible manner with the core Invertible Activation Transformation (IAT) module. I2C is constructed upon a single-rate Invertible Neural Network (INN) based model and the quality level (QLevel) would be fed into the IAT to generate scaling and bias tensors. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed I2C method outperforms state-of-the-art variable-rate image compression methods by a large margin, especially after multiple continuous re-encodings with different rates, while having the ability to obtain a very fine variable-rate control without any performance compromise. The project is publicly available at https://github.com/CaiShilv/HiFi-VRIC.
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