Identity preserving loss for learned image compression
Deep learning model inference on embedded devices is challenging due to the limited availability of computation resources. A popular alternative is to perform model inference on the cloud, which requires transmitting images from the embedded device to the cloud. Image compression techniques are commonly employed in such cloud-based architectures to reduce transmission latency over low bandwidth networks. This work proposes an end-to-end image compression framework that learns domain-specific features to achieve higher compression ratios than standard HEVC/JPEG compression techniques while maintaining accuracy on downstream tasks (e.g., recognition). Our framework does not require fine-tuning of the downstream task, which allows us to drop-in any off-the-shelf downstream task model without retraining. We choose faces as an application domain due to the ready availability of datasets and off-the-shelf recognition models as representative downstream tasks. We present a novel Identity Preserving Reconstruction (IPR) loss function which achieves Bits-Per-Pixel (BPP) values that are ∼ 38% and ∼ 42% of CRF-23 HEVC compression for LFW (low-resolution) and CelebA-HQ (high-resolution) datasets, respectively, while maintaining parity in recognition accuracy. The superior compression ratio is achieved as the model learns to retain the domain-specific features (e.g., facial features) while sacrificing details in the background. Furthermore, images reconstructed by our proposed compression model are robust to changes in downstream model architectures. We show at-par recognition performance on the LFW dataset with an unseen recognition model while retaining a lower BPP value of ∼ 38% of CRF-23 HEVC compression.