Semi-Supervised Natural Face De-Occlusion

Occlusions are often present in face images in the wild, e.g., under video surveillance and forensic scenarios. Existing face de-occlusion methods are limited as they require the knowledge of an occlusion mask. To overcome this limitation, we propose in this paper a new generative adversarial network (named OA-GAN) for natural face de-occlusion without an occlusion mask, enabled by learning in a semi-supervised fashion using (i) paired images with known masks of artificial occlusions and (ii) natural images without occlusion masks. The generator of our approach first predicts an occlusion mask, which is used for filtering the feature maps of the input image as a semantic cue for de-occlusion. The filtered feature maps are then used for face completion to recover a non-occluded face image. The initial occlusion mask prediction might not be accurate enough, but it gradually converges to the accurate one because of the adversarial loss we use to perceive which regions in a face image need to be recovered. The discriminator of our approach consists of an adversarial loss, distinguishing the recovered face images from natural face images, and an attribute preserving loss, ensuring that the face image after de-occlusion can retain the attributes of the input face image. Experimental evaluations on the widely used CelebA dataset and a dataset with natural occlusions we collected show that the proposed approach can outperform the state of the art methods in natural face de-occlusion.

Cai Jiancheng, Han Hu, Cui Jiyun, Chen Jie, Liu Li, Zhou S. Kevin

A1 Journal article – refereed

J. Cai, H. Han, J. Cui, J. Chen, L. Liu and S. K. Zhou, "Semi-Supervised Natural Face De-Occlusion," in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol. 16, pp. 1044-1057, 2021, doi: 10.1109/TIFS.2020.3023793