Generation of Synthetic Images with Generative Adversarial Networks
Abstract: Machine Learning is a fast growing area that revolutionizes computer programs by providing systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience. In most cases, the training process begins with extracting patterns from data. The data is a key factor for machine learning algorithms, without data the algorithms will not work. Thus, having sufficient and relevant data is crucial for the performance. In this thesis, the researcher tackles the problem of not having a sufficient dataset, in terms of the number of training examples, for an image classification task. The idea is to use Generative Adversarial Networks to generate synthetic images similar to the ground truth, and in this way expand a dataset. Two types of experiments were conducted: the first was used to fine-tune a Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Network for a specific dataset, while the second experiment was used to analyze how synthetic data examples affect the accuracy of a Convolutional Neural Network in a classification task. Three well known datasets were used in the first experiment, namely MNIST, Fashion-MNIST and Flower photos, while two datasets were used in the second experiment: MNIST and Fashion-MNIST. The results of the generated images of MNIST and Fashion-MNIST had good overall quality. Some classes had clear visual errors while others were indistinguishable from ground truth examples. When it comes to the Flower photos, the generated images suffered from poor visual quality. One can easily tell the synthetic images from the real ones. One reason for the bad performance is due to the large quantity of noise in the Flower photos dataset. This made it difficult for the model to spot the important features of the flowers. The results from the second experiment show that the accuracy does not increase when the two datasets, MNIST and Fashion-MNIST, are expanded with synthetic images. This is not because the generated images had bad visual quality, but because the accuracy turned out to not be highly dependent on the number of training examples. It can be concluded that Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks are capable of generating synthetic images similar to the ground truth and thus can be used to expand a dataset. However, this approach does not completely solve the initial problem of not having adequate datasets because Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks may themselves require, depending on the dataset, a large quantity of training examples.
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