Emergent Mind

Abstract

Transferring large amount of high resolution images over limited bandwidth is an important but very challenging task. Compressing images using extremely low bitrates (<0.1 bpp) has been studied but it often results in low quality images of heavy artifacts due to the strong constraint in the number of bits available for the compressed data. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words but on the other hand, language is very powerful in capturing the essence of an image using short descriptions. With the recent success of diffusion models for text-to-image generation, we propose a generative image compression method that demonstrates the potential of saving an image as a short text embedding which in turn can be used to generate high-fidelity images which is equivalent to the original one perceptually. For a given image, its corresponding text embedding is learned using the same optimization process as the text-to-image diffusion model itself, using a learnable text embedding as input after bypassing the original transformer. The optimization is applied together with a learning compression model to achieve extreme compression of low bitrates <0.1 bpp. Based on our experiments measured by a comprehensive set of image quality metrics, our method outperforms the other state-of-the-art deep learning methods in terms of both perceptual quality and diversity.

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