Physics-Inspired Synthesized Underwater Image Dataset


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This paper introduces the physics-inspired synthesized underwater image dataset (PHISWID), a dataset tailored for enhancing underwater image processing through physics-inspired image synthesis. Deep learning approaches to underwater image enhancement typically demand extensive datasets, yet acquiring paired clean and degraded underwater ones poses significant challenges. While several underwater image datasets have been proposed using physics-based synthesis, a publicly accessible collection has been lacking. Additionally, most underwater image synthesis approaches do not intend to reproduce atmospheric scenes, resulting in incomplete enhancement. PHISWID addresses this gap by offering a set of paired ground-truth (atmospheric) and synthetically degraded underwater images, showcasing not only color degradation but also the often-neglected effects of marine snow, a composite of organic matter and sand particles that considerably impairs underwater image clarity. The dataset applies these degradations to atmospheric RGB-D images, enhancing the dataset's realism and applicability. PHISWID is particularly valuable for training deep neural networks in a supervised learning setting and for objectively assessing image quality in benchmark analyses. Our results reveal that even a basic U-Net architecture, when trained with PHISWID, substantially outperforms existing methods in underwater image enhancement. We intend to release PHISWID publicly, contributing a significant resource to the advancement of underwater imaging technology.
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