Improving Style Transfer with Calibrated Metrics

Mao-Chuang Yeh, Shuai Tang, Anand Bhattad, Chuhang Zou, David Forsyth; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2020, pp. 3160-3168


Style transfer methods produce a transferred image which is a rendering of a content image in the manner of a style image. We seek to understand how to improve style transfer. To do so requires quantitative evaluation procedures, but current evaluation is qualitative, mostly involving user studies. We describe a novel quantitative evaluation procedure. Our procedure relies on two statistics: the Effectiveness (E) statistic measures the extent that a given style has been transferred to the target, and the Coherence (C) statistic measures the extent to which the original image's content is preserved. Our statistics are calibrated to human preference: targets with larger values of E (resp C) will reliably be preferred by human subjects in comparisons of style (resp. content). We use these statistics to investigate relative performance of a number of style transfer methods, revealing a number of intriguing properties. Admissible methods lie on a Pareto frontier (i.e. improving E reduces C, or vice versa). Three methods are admissible: Universal style transfer produces very good C but weak E; modifying the optimization used for Gatys' loss produces a method with strong E and strong C; and a modified cross-layer method has slightly better E at strong cost in C. While the histogram loss improves the E statistics of Gatys' method, it does not make the method admissible. Surprisingly, style weights have relatively little effect in improving EC scores, and most variability in transfer is explained by the style itself (meaning experimenters can be misguided by selecting styles).

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author = {Yeh, Mao-Chuang and Tang, Shuai and Bhattad, Anand and Zou, Chuhang and Forsyth, David},
title = {Improving Style Transfer with Calibrated Metrics},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)},
month = {March},
year = {2020}