Fast Underwater Image Enhancement for Improved Visual Perception


In this paper, we present a conditional generative adversarial network-based model for underwater image enhancement in real-time. In order to supervise the adversarial training, we formulate an objective function that evaluates the perceptual image quality based on its global content, color, and local style information. In addition, we present EUVP, a large-scale dataset of a paired and an unpaired collection of underwater images (of poor and good quality) that are captured using seven different cameras over various visibility conditions during oceanic explorations and human-robot collaborative experiments. Furthermore, we perform a number of qualitative and quantitative evaluations which suggest that the proposed model can learn to enhance the quality of underwater images from both paired and unpaired training. More importantly, the enhanced images provide improved performances for several standard models for underwater object detection and human pose estimation; hence, the proposed model can be used as an image processing pipeline by visually-guided underwater robots in real-time applications.

Accepted by Robotics and Automation Letters(RA-L)