Image Difficulty Curriculum for Generative Adversarial Networks (CuGAN)

Petru Soviany, Claudiu Ardei, Radu Tudor Ionescu, Marius Leordeanu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2020, pp. 3463-3472


Despite the significant advances in recent years, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are still notoriously hard to train. In this paper, we propose three novel curriculum learning strategies for training GANs. All strategies are first based on ranking the training images by their difficulty scores, which are estimated by a state-of-the-art image difficulty predictor. Our first strategy is to divide images into gradually more difficult batches. Our second strategy introduces a novel curriculum loss function for the discriminator that takes into account the difficulty scores of the real images. Our third strategy is based on sampling from an evolving distribution, which favors the easier images during the initial training stages and gradually converges to a uniform distribution, in which samples are equally likely, regardless of difficulty. We compare our curriculum learning strategies with the classic training procedure on two tasks: image generation and image translation. Our experiments indicate that all strategies provide faster convergence and superior results. For example, our best curriculum learning strategy applied on spectrally normalized GANs (SNGANs) fooled human annotators in thinking that generated CIFAR-like images are real in 25.0% of the presented cases, while the SNGANs trained using the classic procedure fooled the annotators in only 18.4% cases. Similarly, in image translation, the human annotators preferred the images produced by the Cycle-consistent GAN (CycleGAN) trained using curriculum learning in 40.5% cases and those produced by CycleGAN based on classic training in only 19.8% cases, 39.7% cases being labeled as ties.

Related Material

[pdf] [video]
author = {Soviany, Petru and Ardei, Claudiu and Ionescu, Radu Tudor and Leordeanu, Marius},
title = {Image Difficulty Curriculum for Generative Adversarial Networks (CuGAN)},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)},
month = {March},
year = {2020}