Compositional Sketch Search

International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP)

Published January 1, 2021

Alexander Black, Tu Bui, Long Mai, Hailin Jin, John Collomosse

We present an algorithm for searching image collections using free-hand sketches that describe the appearance and relative positions of multiple objects. Sketch based image retrieval (SBIR) methods predominantly match queries containing a single, dominant object invariant to its position within an image. Our work exploits drawings as a concise and intuitive representation for specifying entire scene compositions. We train a convolutional neural network (CNN) to encode masked visual features from sketched objects, pooling these into a spatial descriptor encoding the spatial relationships and appearances of objects in the composition. Training the CNN backbone as a Siamese network under triplet loss yields a metric search embedding for measuring compositional similarity which may be efficiently leveraged for visual search by applying product quantization.

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