UIERL: Internal-External Representation Learning Network for Underwater Image Enhancement

by   Zhengyong Wang, et al.

Underwater image enhancement (UIE) is a meaningful but challenging task, and many learning-based UIE methods have been proposed in recent years. Although much progress has been made, these methods still exist two issues: (1) There exists a significant region-wise quality difference in a single underwater image due to the underwater imaging process, especially in regions with different scene depths. However, existing methods neglect this internal characteristic of underwater images, resulting in inferior performance; (2) Due to the uniqueness of the acquisition approach, underwater image acquisition tools usually capture multiple images in the same or similar scenes. Thus, the underwater images to be enhanced in practical usage are highly correlated. However, when processing a single image, existing methods do not consider the rich external information provided by the related images. There is still room for improvement in their performance. Motivated by these two aspects, we propose a novel internal-external representation learning (UIERL) network to better perform UIE tasks with internal and external information, simultaneously. In the internal representation learning stage, a new depth-based region feature guidance network is designed, including a region segmentation based on scene depth to sense regions with different quality levels, followed by a region-wise space encoder module. With performing region-wise feature learning for regions with different quality separately, the network provides an effective guidance for global features and thus guides intra-image differentiated enhancement. In the external representation learning stage, we first propose an external information extraction network to mine the rich external information in the related images. Then, internal and external features interact with each other via the proposed external-assist-internal module and internal-assist-e


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