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Title: Unified Architecture Adaptation for Compressed Domain Semantic Inference
Abstract: Advances in both lossy image compression and semantic content understanding have been greatly fueled by deep learning techniques, yet these two tasks have been developed separately for the past decades. In this work, we address the problem of directly executing semantic inference from quantized latent features in the deep compressed domain without pixel reconstruction. Although different methods have been proposed for this problem setting, they either are restrictive to a specific architecture or are sub-optimal in terms of compressed domain task accuracy. In contrast, we propose a lightweight, plug-and-play solution that is generally compliant with popular learned image coders and deep vision models, making it attractive to vast applications. Our method adapts prevalent pixel domain neural models that are deployed for various vision tasks to directly accept quantized latent features (other than pixels). We further suggest training the compressed domain model by transferring knowledge from its corresponding pixel domain counterpart. Experiments show that our method is compliant with popular learned image coders and vision task models. Under fair comparison, our approach outperforms a baseline method by a) more than 3% top-1 accuracy for compressed domain classification, and b) more than 7% mIoU for compressed domain semantic segmentation, at various data rates.