GAN Roadmap

[ deep-learning  gan  GauGAN  GANpaint  iGAN  ESRGAN  SRGAN  StackGAN  FUNIT  CoGAN  StarGan  CycleGan  Pix2Pix  Pix2Pix-HD  BigBiGAN  StyleGAN  BigGAN  SELF-MOD  SAGAN  PGGAN  ImprovedDCGAN  DCGAN  WGAN-GP  WGAN  LSGAN  InfoGan  SemiGan  ACGAN  IcGAN  LAPGAN  CGAN  ]

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Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) aims to learn generator (G) and discriminator (D), such that D cannot distinguish data generated from G with the real data.

the-gan-zoo has collected over 500 GAN models. A Large-Scale Study on Regularization and Normalization in GANs has benchmarked many variations of GANs, from loss, architecture, normalization, regularization and so on. The code is available at compare_gan.

Mohammad KHalooei has categorized GAN into four levels.

Level 0: Definition of GANs

This is where the GAN starts.


Generative Adversarial Nets [8] were recently introduced as a novel way to train generative models. In this work we introduce the conditional version of generative adversarial nets, which can be constructed by simply feeding the data, y, we wish to condition on to both the generator and discriminator. We show that this model can generate MNIST digits conditioned on class labels. We also illustrate how this model could be used to learn a multi-modal model, and provide preliminary examples of an application to image tagging in which we demonstrate how this approach can generate descriptive tags which are not part of training labels.


In this paper we introduce a generative parametric model capable of producing high quality samples of natural images. Our approach uses a cascade of convolutional networks within a Laplacian pyramid framework to generate images in a coarse-to-fine fashion. At each level of the pyramid, a separate generative convnet model is trained using the Generative Adversarial Nets (GAN) approach [10]. Samples drawn from our model are of significantly higher quality than alternate approaches. In a quantitative assessment by human evaluators, our CIFAR10 samples were mistaken for real images around 40% of the time, compared to 10% for samples drawn from a GAN baseline model. We also show samples from models trained on the higher resolution images of the LSUN scene dataset.


Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have recently demonstrated to successfully approximate complex data distributions. A relevant extension of this model is conditional GANs (cGANs), where the introduction of external information allows to determine specific representations of the generated images. In this work, we evaluate encoders to inverse the mapping of a cGAN, i.e., mapping a real image into a latent space and a conditional representation. This allows, for example, to reconstruct and modify real images of faces conditioning on arbitrary attributes. Additionally, we evaluate the design of cGANs. The combination of an encoder with a cGAN, which we call Invertible cGAN (IcGAN), enables to re-generate real images with deterministic complex modifications.


Synthesizing high resolution photorealistic images has been a long-standing challenge in machine learning. In this paper we introduce new methods for the improved training of generative adversarial networks (GANs) for image synthesis. We construct a variant of GANs employing label conditioning that results in 128x128 resolution image samples exhibiting global coherence. We expand on previous work for image quality assessment to provide two new analyses for assessing the discriminability and diversity of samples from class-conditional image synthesis models. These analyses demonstrate that high resolution samples provide class information not present in low resolution samples. Across 1000 ImageNet classes, 128x128 samples are more than twice as discriminable as artificially resized 32x32 samples. In addition, 84.7% of the classes have samples exhibiting diversity comparable to real ImageNet data.


We present a variety of new architectural features and training procedures that we apply to the generative adversarial networks (GANs) framework. We focus on two applications of GANs: semi-supervised learning, and the generation of images that humans find visually realistic. Unlike most work on generative models, our primary goal is not to train a model that assigns high likelihood to test data, nor do we require the model to be able to learn well without using any labels. Using our new techniques, we achieve state-of-the-art results in semi-supervised classification on MNIST, CIFAR-10 and SVHN. The generated images are of high quality as confirmed by a visual Turing test: our model generates MNIST samples that humans cannot distinguish from real data, and CIFAR-10 samples that yield a human error rate of 21.3%. We also present ImageNet samples with unprecedented resolution and show that our methods enable the model to learn recognizable features of ImageNet classes.


This paper describes InfoGAN, an information-theoretic extension to the Generative Adversarial Network that is able to learn disentangled representations in a completely unsupervised manner. InfoGAN is a generative adversarial network that also maximizes the mutual information between a small subset of the latent variables and the observation. We derive a lower bound to the mutual information objective that can be optimized efficiently, and show that our training procedure can be interpreted as a variation of the Wake-Sleep algorithm. Specifically, InfoGAN successfully disentangles writing styles from digit shapes on the MNIST dataset, pose from lighting of 3D rendered images, and background digits from the central digit on the SVHN dataset. It also discovers visual concepts that include hair styles, presence/absence of eyeglasses, and emotions on the CelebA face dataset. Experiments show that InfoGAN learns interpretable representations that are competitive with representations learned by existing fully supervised methods.

Level 1: Improvements of GANs training

Those methods improves the stability of GAN training, including loss function, hyperparameters (e.g., learning rate) and weight initialization.


In this paper, we present the Lipschitz regularization theory and algorithms for a novel Loss-Sensitive Generative Adversarial Network (LS-GAN). Specifically, it trains a loss function to distinguish between real and fake samples by designated margins, while learning a generator alternately to produce realistic samples by minimizing their losses. The LS-GAN further regularizes its loss function with a Lipschitz regularity condition on the density of real data, yielding a regularized model that can better generalize to produce new data from a reasonable number of training examples than the classic GAN. We will further present a Generalized LS-GAN (GLS-GAN) and show it contains a large family of regularized GAN models, including both LS-GAN and Wasserstein GAN, as its special cases. Compared with the other GAN models, we will conduct experiments to show both LS-GAN and GLS-GAN exhibit competitive ability in generating new images in terms of the Minimum Reconstruction Error (MRE) assessed on a separate test set. We further extend the LS-GAN to a conditional form for supervised and semi-supervised learning problems, and demonstrate its outstanding performance on image classification tasks.

However least square sacrafices the stabilization of training over disversity of generated samples. This means the generated samples may only generate samples slightly different from the input.


We introduce a new algorithm named WGAN, an alternative to traditional GAN training. In this new model, we show that we can improve the stability of learning, get rid of problems like mode collapse, and provide meaningful learning curves useful for debugging and hyperparameter searches. Furthermore, we show that the corresponding optimization problem is sound, and provide extensive theoretical work highlighting the deep connections to other distances between distributions.

The major improvements are:

  • sigmoid of last layer of discriminator is removed
  • the log is removed from the oss of generator and discriminator
  • truncate the weight above some constant
  • avoid the usage of optimizer relying on momentum and Adam, e.g., RMSProp, SGD


Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are powerful generative models, but suffer from training instability. The recently proposed Wasserstein GAN (WGAN) makes progress toward stable training of GANs, but sometimes can still generate only low-quality samples or fail to converge. We find that these problems are often due to the use of weight clipping in WGAN to enforce a Lipschitz constraint on the critic, which can lead to undesired behavior. We propose an alternative to clipping weights: penalize the norm of gradient of the critic with respect to its input. Our proposed method performs better than standard WGAN and enables stable training of a wide variety of GAN architectures with almost no hyperparameter tuning, including 101-layer ResNets and language models over discrete data. We also achieve high quality generations on CIFAR-10 and LSUN bedrooms.

Its improvement over WGAN is that it replaces the weight truncation by weight regularization.

Level 2: Implementation skill


In recent years, supervised learning with convolutional networks (CNNs) has seen huge adoption in computer vision applications. Comparatively, unsupervised learning with CNNs has received less attention. In this work we hope to help bridge the gap between the success of CNNs for supervised learning and unsupervised learning. We introduce a class of CNNs called deep convolutional generative adversarial networks (DCGANs), that have certain architectural constraints, and demonstrate that they are a strong candidate for unsupervised learning. Training on various image datasets, we show convincing evidence that our deep convolutional adversarial pair learns a hierarchy of representations from object parts to scenes in both the generator and discriminator. Additionally, we use the learned features for novel tasks - demonstrating their applicability as general image representations.

It utilizes CNN as the discriminator and generator, including batch normalization, transposed convolution and leaky RELU.



We describe a new training methodology for generative adversarial networks. The key idea is to grow both the generator and discriminator progressively: starting from a low resolution, we add new layers that model increasingly fine details as training progresses. This both speeds the training up and greatly stabilizes it, allowing us to produce images of unprecedented quality, e.g., CelebA images at 1024^2. We also propose a simple way to increase the variation in generated images, and achieve a record inception score of 8.80 in unsupervised CIFAR10. Additionally, we describe several implementation details that are important for discouraging unhealthy competition between the generator and discriminator. Finally, we suggest a new metric for evaluating GAN results, both in terms of image quality and variation. As an additional contribution, we construct a higher-quality version of the CelebA dataset.

PGGAN improves the training stabilitity by starting from low resolution image and improve to high resolution images.


In this paper, we propose the Self-Attention Generative Adversarial Network (SAGAN) which allows attention-driven, long-range dependency modeling for image generation tasks. Traditional convolutional GANs generate high-resolution details as a function of only spatially local points in lower-resolution feature maps. In SAGAN, details can be generated using cues from all feature locations. Moreover, the discriminator can check that highly detailed features in distant portions of the image are consistent with each other. Furthermore, recent work has shown that generator conditioning affects GAN performance. Leveraging this insight, we apply spectral normalization to the GAN generator and find that this improves training dynamics. The proposed SAGAN performs better than prior work1 , boosting the best published Inception score from 36.8 to 52.52 and reducing Frechet Inception distance from 27.62 to ´ 18.65 on the challenging ImageNet dataset. Visualization of the attention layers shows that the generator leverages neighborhoods that correspond to object shapes rather than local regions of fixed shape.


Training Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) is notoriously challenging. We propose and study an architectural modification, self-modulation, which improves GAN performance across different data sets, architectures, losses, regularizers, and hyperparameter settings. Intuitively, self-modulation allows the intermediate feature maps of a generator to change as a function of the input noise vector. While reminiscent of other conditioning techniques, it requires no labeled data. In a large-scale empirical study we observe a relative decrease of 5%−35% in FID. Furthermore, all else being equal, adding this modification to the generator leads to improved performance in 124/144 (86%) of the studied settings. Self-modulation is a simple architectural change that requires no additional parameter tuning, which suggests that it can be applied readily to any GAN.


Despite recent progress in generative image modeling, successfully generating high-resolution, diverse samples from complex datasets such as ImageNet remains an elusive goal. To this end, we train Generative Adversarial Networks at the largest scale yet attempted, and study the instabilities specific to such scale. We find that applying orthogonal regularization to the generator renders it amenable to a simple “truncation trick,” allowing fine control over the trade-off between sample fidelity and variety by reducing the variance of the Generator’s input. Our modifications lead to models which set the new state of the art in class-conditional image synthesis. When trained on ImageNet at 128x128 resolution, our models (BigGANs) achieve an Inception Score (IS) of 166.5 and Frechet Inception Distance (FID) of 7.4, improving over the previous best IS of 52.52 and FID of 18.6.

BigGan proposes spectral normalization, self attention, large batch size, large channel, weight truncation and so on.


We propose an alternative generator architecture for generative adversarial networks, borrowing from style transfer literature. The new architecture leads to an automatically learned, unsupervised separation of high-level attributes (e.g., pose and identity when trained on human faces) and stochastic variation in the generated images (e.g., freckles, hair), and it enables intuitive, scale-specific control of the synthesis. The new generator improves the state-of-the-art in terms of traditional distribution quality metrics, leads to demonstrably better interpolation properties, and also better disentangles the latent factors of variation. To quantify interpolation quality and disentanglement, we propose two new, automated methods that are applicable to any generator architecture. Finally, we introduce a new, highly varied and high-quality dataset of human faces.


Adversarially trained generative models (GANs) have recently achieved compelling image synthesis results. But despite early successes in using GANs for unsupervised representation learning, they have since been superseded by approaches based on self-supervision. In this work we show that progress in image generation quality translates to substantially improved representation learning performance. Our approach, BigBiGAN, builds upon the state-of-the-art BigGAN model, extending it to representation learning by adding an encoder and modifying the discriminator. We extensively evaluate the representation learning and generation capabilities of these BigBiGAN models, demonstrating that these generation-based models achieve the state of the art in unsupervised representation learning on ImageNet, as well as in unconditional image generation.

Level 3: GANs Applications in CV

Image Translation

Image translations aims to translate image from source domain to target domain. Depending on the training data, it could be paired two domain data or unpaired two domain data.

paired two domain data


One of the most well-known paried two domain data methods is Pix2Pix, which is based on a pair of sketch and RGB image.

We investigate conditional adversarial networks as a general-purpose solution to image-to-image translation problems. These networks not only learn the mapping from input image to output image, but also learn a loss function to train this mapping. This makes it possible to apply the same generic approach to problems that traditionally would require very different loss formulations. We demonstrate that this approach is effective at synthesizing photos from label maps, reconstructing objects from edge maps, and colorizing images, among other tasks. As a community, we no longer hand-engineer our mapping functions, and this work suggests we can achieve reasonable results without hand-engineering our loss functions either.

Pix2Pix HD

We present a new method for synthesizing highresolution photo-realistic images from semantic label maps using conditional generative adversarial networks (conditional GANs). Conditional GANs have enabled a variety of applications, but the results are often limited to lowresolution and still far from realistic. In this work, we generate 2048 × 1024 visually appealing results with a novel adversarial loss, as well as new multi-scale generator and discriminator architectures. Furthermore, we extend our framework to interactive visual manipulation with two additional features. First, we incorporate object instance segmentation information, which enables object manipulations such as removing/adding objects and changing the object category. Second, we propose a method to generate diverse results given the same input, allowing users to edit the object appearance interactively. Human opinion studies demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms existing methods, advancing both the quality and the resolution of deep image synthesis and editing

Unpaired two domain data

In most of scenarios, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have large number of paired training data. Thus to learn GAN from unpaired two domain data is very important.


To remove the requirement of paird training data, CycleGan utilizes two generator: one generator translates image from source domain to target domain; and the other generator translates image from target domain to source domain. The cycle consistency enforces that an image translated from source domain to target domain should be able to translated back to source domain, vice versa.

Image-to-image translation is a class of vision and graphics problems where the goal is to learn the mapping between an input image and an output image using a training set of aligned image pairs. However, for many tasks, paired training data will not be available. We present an approach for learning to translate an image from a source domain X to a target domain Y in the absence of paired examples. Our goal is to learn a mapping G:X→Y such that the distribution of images from G(X) is indistinguishable from the distribution Y using an adversarial loss. Because this mapping is highly under-constrained, we couple it with an inverse mapping F:Y→X and introduce a cycle consistency loss to push F(G(X))≈X (and vice versa). Qualitative results are presented on several tasks where paired training data does not exist, including collection style transfer, object transfiguration, season transfer, photo enhancement, etc. Quantitative comparisons against several prior methods demonstrate the superiority of our approach.

Similar idea is also found in DualGAN and DiscoGAN


Recent studies have shown remarkable success in imageto-image translation for two domains. However, existing approaches have limited scalability and robustness in handling more than two domains, since different models should be built independently for every pair of image domains. To address this limitation, we propose StarGAN, a novel and scalable approach that can perform image-to-image translations for multiple domains using only a single model. Such a unified model architecture of StarGAN allows simultaneous training of multiple datasets with different domains within a single network. This leads to StarGAN’s superior quality of translated images compared to existing models as well as the novel capability of flexibly translating an input image to any desired target domain. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on a facial attribute transfer and a facial expression synthesis tasks.


We propose coupled generative adversarial network (CoGAN) for learning a joint distribution of multi-domain images. In contrast to the existing approaches, which require tuples of corresponding images in different domains in the training set, CoGAN can learn a joint distribution without any tuple of corresponding images. It can learn a joint distribution with just samples drawn from the marginal distributions. This is achieved by enforcing a weight-sharing constraint that limits the network capacity and favors a joint distribution solution over a product of marginal distributions one. We apply CoGAN to several joint distribution learning tasks, including learning a joint distribution of color and depth images, and learning a joint distribution of face images with different attributes. For each task it successfully learns the joint distribution without any tuple of corresponding images. We also demonstrate its applications to domain adaptation and image transformation.


Unsupervised image-to-image translation methods learn to map images in a given class to an analogous image in a different class, drawing on unstructured (non-registered) datasets of images. While remarkably successful, current methods require access to many images in both source and destination classes at training time. We argue this greatly limits their use. Drawing inspiration from the human capability of picking up the essence of a novel object from a small number of examples and generalizing from there, we seek a few-shot, unsupervised image-to-image translation algorithm that works on previously unseen target classes that are specified, at test time, only by a few example images. Our model achieves this few-shot generation capability by coupling an adversarial training scheme with a novel network design. Through extensive experimental validation and comparisons to several baseline methods on benchmark datasets, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Code will be available at



Synthesizing high-quality images from text descriptions is a challenging problem in computer vision and has many practical applications. Samples generated by existing text-to-image approaches can roughly reflect the meaning of the given descriptions, but they fail to contain necessary details and vivid object parts. In this paper, we propose Stacked Generative Adversarial Networks (StackGAN) to generate 256x256 photo-realistic images conditioned on text descriptions. We decompose the hard problem into more manageable sub-problems through a sketch-refinement process. The Stage-I GAN sketches the primitive shape and colors of the object based on the given text description, yielding Stage-I low-resolution images. The Stage-II GAN takes Stage-I results and text descriptions as inputs, and generates high-resolution images with photo-realistic details. It is able to rectify defects in Stage-I results and add compelling details with the refinement process. To improve the diversity of the synthesized images and stabilize the training of the conditional-GAN, we introduce a novel Conditioning Augmentation technique that encourages smoothness in the latent conditioning manifold. Extensive experiments and comparisons with state-of-the-arts on benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed method achieves significant improvements on generating photo-realistic images conditioned on text descriptions.


Despite the breakthroughs in accuracy and speed of single image super-resolution using faster and deeper convolutional neural networks, one central problem remains largely unsolved: how do we recover the finer texture details when we super-resolve at large upscaling factors? The behavior of optimization-based super-resolution methods is principally driven by the choice of the objective function. Recent work has largely focused on minimizing the mean squared reconstruction error. The resulting estimates have high peak signal-to-noise ratios, but they are often lacking high-frequency details and are perceptually unsatisfying in the sense that they fail to match the fidelity expected at the higher resolution. In this paper, we present SRGAN, a generative adversarial network (GAN) for image super-resolution (SR). To our knowledge, it is the first framework capable of inferring photo-realistic natural images for 4x upscaling factors. To achieve this, we propose a perceptual loss function which consists of an adversarial loss and a content loss. The adversarial loss pushes our solution to the natural image manifold using a discriminator network that is trained to differentiate between the super-resolved images and original photo-realistic images. In addition, we use a content loss motivated by perceptual similarity instead of similarity in pixel space. Our deep residual network is able to recover photo-realistic textures from heavily downsampled images on public benchmarks. An extensive mean-opinion-score (MOS) test shows hugely significant gains in perceptual quality using SRGAN. The MOS scores obtained with SRGAN are closer to those of the original high-resolution images than to those obtained with any state-of-the-art method.


The Super-Resolution Generative Adversarial Network (SRGAN) is a seminal work that is capable of generating realistic textures during single image super-resolution. However, the hallucinated details are often accompanied with unpleasant artifacts. To further enhance the visual quality, we thoroughly study three key components of SRGAN - network architecture, adversarial loss and perceptual loss, and improve each of them to derive an Enhanced SRGAN (ESRGAN). In particular, we introduce the Residual-in-Residual Dense Block (RRDB) without batch normalization as the basic network building unit. Moreover, we borrow the idea from relativistic GAN to let the discriminator predict relative realness instead of the absolute value. Finally, we improve the perceptual loss by using the features before activation, which could provide stronger supervision for brightness consistency and texture recovery. Benefiting from these improvements, the proposed ESRGAN achieves consistently better visual quality with more realistic and natural textures than SRGAN and won the first place in the PIRM2018-SR Challenge. The code is available at this https URL .

Interactive Image Generation


Realistic image manipulation is challenging because it requires modifying the image appearance in a user-controlled way, while preserving the realism of the result. Unless the user has considerable artistic skill, it is easy to “fall off” the manifold of natural images while editing. In this paper, we propose to learn the natural image manifold directly from data using a generative adversarial neural network. We then define a class of image editing operations, and constrain their output to lie on that learned manifold at all times. The model automatically adjusts the output keeping all edits as realistic as possible. All our manipulations are expressed in terms of constrained optimization and are applied in near-real time. We evaluate our algorithm on the task of realistic photo manipulation of shape and color. The presented method can further be used for changing one image to look like the other, as well as generating novel imagery from scratch based on user’s scribbles.


Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have recently achieved impressive results for many real-world applications, and many GAN variants have emerged with improvements in sample quality and training stability. However, they have not been well visualized or understood. How does a GAN represent our visual world internally? What causes the artifacts in GAN results? How do architectural choices affect GAN learning? Answering such questions could enable us to develop new insights and better models. In this work, we present an analytic framework to visualize and understand GANs at the unit-, object-, and scene-level. We first identify a group of interpretable units that are closely related to object concepts using a segmentation-based network dissection method. Then, we quantify the causal effect of interpretable units by measuring the ability of interventions to control objects in the output. We examine the contextual relationship between these units and their surroundings by inserting the discovered object concepts into new images. We show several practical applications enabled by our framework, from comparing internal representations across different layers, models, and datasets, to improving GANs by locating and removing artifact-causing units, to interactively manipulating objects in a scene. We provide open source interpretation tools to help researchers and practitioners better understand their GAN models.

GauGAN(SPADE) Nvidia

We propose spatially-adaptive normalization, a simple but effective layer for synthesizing photorealistic images given an input semantic layout. Previous methods directly feed the semantic layout as input to the deep network, which is then processed through stacks of convolution, normalization, and nonlinearity layers. We show that this is suboptimal as the normalization layers tend to ``wash away’’ semantic information. To address the issue, we propose using the input layout for modulating the activations in normalization layers through a spatially-adaptive, learned transformation. Experiments on several challenging datasets demonstrate the advantage of the proposed method over existing approaches, regarding both visual fidelity and alignment with input layouts. Finally, our model allows user control over both semantic and style as synthesizing images. Code will be available at this https URL .

Written on September 7, 2019