Learning to generate synthetic data via compositing

Shashank Tripathi, Siddhartha Chandra, Amit Agrawal, Ambrish Tyagi, James M. Rehg, Visesh Chari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a task-specific approach to synthetic data generation. Our framework employs a trainable synthesizer network that is optimized to produce meaningful training samples by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a 'target' classifier. The synthesizer and target networks are trained in an adversarial manner wherein each network is updated with a goal to outdo the other. Additionally, we ensure the synthesizer generates realistic data by pairing it with a discriminator trained on real-world images. Further, to make the target classifier invariant to blending artefacts, we introduce these artefacts to background regions of the training images so the target does not over-fit to them. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by applying it to different target networks including a classification network on AffNIST [46], and two object detection networks (SSD, Faster-RCNN) on different datasets. On the AffNIST benchmark, our approach is able to surpass the baseline results with just half the training examples. On the VOC person detection benchmark, we show improvements of up to 2.7% as a result of our data augmentation. Similarly on the GMU detection benchmark, we report a performance boost of 3.5% in mAP over the baseline method, outperforming the previous state of the art approaches by as much as 7.5% in individual categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728132938
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2019 - Long Beach, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2019Jun 20 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
ISSN (Print)1063-6919


Conference32nd IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach


  • Categorization
  • Deep Learning
  • Recognition: Detection
  • Retrieval
  • Scene Analysis and Understanding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning to generate synthetic data via compositing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this