Generalising Fine-Grained Sketch-Based Image Retrieval

Kaiyue Pang, Ke Li, Yongxin Yang, Honggang Zhang, Timothy M. Hospedales, Tao Xiang, Yi-Zhe Song; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 677-686


Fine-grained sketch-based image retrieval (FG-SBIR) addresses matching specific photo instance using free-hand sketch as a query modality. Existing models aim to learn an embedding space in which sketch and photo can be directly compared. While successful, they require instance-level pairing within each coarse-grained category as annotated training data. Since the learned embedding space is domain-specific, these models do not generalise well across categories. This limits the practical applicability of FG-SBIR. In this paper, we identify cross-category generalisation for FG-SBIR as a domain generalisation problem, and propose the first solution. Our key contribution is a novel unsupervised learning approach to model a universal manifold of prototypical visual sketch traits. This manifold can then be used to paramaterise the learning of a sketch/photo representation. Model adaptation to novel categories then becomes automatic via embedding the novel sketch in the manifold and updating the representation and retrieval function accordingly. Experiments on the two largest FG-SBIR datasets, Sketchy and QMUL-Shoe-V2, demonstrate the efficacy of our approach in enabling cross-category generalisation of FG-SBIR.

Related Material

author = {Pang, Kaiyue and Li, Ke and Yang, Yongxin and Zhang, Honggang and Hospedales, Timothy M. and Xiang, Tao and Song, Yi-Zhe},
title = {Generalising Fine-Grained Sketch-Based Image Retrieval},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}