- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
SimAN: Exploring Self-Supervised Representation Learning of Scene Text via Similarity-Aware Normalization
Recently self-supervised representation learning has drawn considerable attention from the scene text recognition community. Different from previous studies using contrastive learning, we tackle the issue from an alternative perspective, i.e., by formulating the representation learning scheme in a generative manner. Typically, the neighboring image patches among one text line tend to have similar styles, including the strokes, textures, colors, etc. Motivated by this common sense, we augment one image patch and use its neighboring patch as guidance to recover itself. Specifically, we propose a Similarity-Aware Normalization (SimAN) module to identify the different patterns and align the corresponding styles from the guiding patch. In this way, the network gains representation capability for distinguishing complex patterns such as messy strokes and cluttered backgrounds. Experiments show that the proposed SimAN significantly improves the representation quality and achieves promising performance. Moreover, we surprisingly find that our self-supervised generative network has impressive potential for data synthesis, text image editing, and font interpolation, which suggests that the proposed SimAN has a wide range of practical applications.