Tensorflow port of LIFT (ECCV 2016), with training code.
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TF-LIFT: Tensorflow Implmentation for Learned Invariant Feature Transform

Basic Usage

Setting the environment

Python Version : 3 OpenCV Version : 3

You'll need to install the dependencies, something like the following:

pip install numpy h5py tensorflow tensorflow-gpu

We will later provide a requirements.txt for you to use with pip.

Also, you need to setup your work directories. Edit the config.py for a convenient default argument setting. See help for more information on what the configurations do.


main.py is the entry point for all your needs. Simply define the task you want to do, the where to save the results (logs) and the training subtask you want to perform.

For example, to train the descriptor

python main.py --task=train --subtask=desc

Note: this will save the logs at logs/main.py---task=train---subtask=desc. If you don't want this behavior, you can also add --logdir=logs/test in the command line argument, for example.


Testing is even more simple, just provide the input image location, the output file name, keypoint file name (for ori and desc). For example, the following command will run the entire pipeline for image1.jpg, using the model at logs/test.

python main.py --task=test --subtask=kp --logdir=logs/test --test_img_file=image1.jpg \
python main.py --task=test --subtask=ori --logdir=logs/test --test_img_file=image1.jpg \
  --test_out_file=image1_ori.txt --test_kp_file=image1_kp.txt
python main.py --task=test --subtask=desc --logdir=logs/test --test_img_file=image1.jpg \
  --test_out_file=image1_desc.h5 --test_kp_file=image1_ori.txt

Note: when trying to load the model, it will always look for the joint trained model first, and fall back to the subtask it is trying to test for.

More notes on training

Saving the network

When training, the network is automatically saved in the logdir. If you don't set this manually, it defaults to logs/{concatenation-of-all-arguments}. The things that are saved are:

  • Tensorflow checkpoint
  • Tensorflow graph metadata
  • mean and std used for input data normalization
  • best validation loss
  • best validation iteration

All these are loaded back when we want to continue.

Loading the network

On all runs, the framework automatically resumes from where it left. In other words, it will always try to load network weights and resume. If the framework cannot find the expected weights, it will just tell you that it could not find weights in the expected locations, and will try to go on its merry way. Note that this is something that you want to keep in mind. For example, if you run the subtask ori, with a typo in logdir pointing you to a directory without the pretrained descriptor weights, the framework will simply try to learn the orientation estimator with random descriptors. This is intended, as this might be something that you actually want to try.

Network loading is performed in the following order, overwriting the previously loaded weights:

  1. Loads the pretrained weights, in the old framework format, from directories defined in pretrained_{subtask} in the configuration. This feature is deprecated and should not be used

  2. Loads the pretrained weights, in the new framework format, from directories defined in pretrained_{subtask} in the configuration.

  3. Loads the weights from the logdir, which is either automatically determined by the command line arguments, or can be given manually.

Differences from the original version

Batch normalization

In the original version, we did not apply batch normalization. In the new version, bach normalization is applied to all layers. This significantly speeds-up the learning process, and makes learning stable. This also eliminates the need for us to normalize the dataset when training, and we can instead simply put the data range in a reasonable range, say -1 to 1 and be done with it. Note that since we do this, we also perform batch normalization on the input.

L2-pooling and Spatial subtractive normalization

We found that these layers can be replaced with normal relus and spatial pooling without significant difference. They are removed.

Pretrained models

We provide new models trained on the `Piccadilly' set from the ECCV paper. Note that they have been trained from scratch with the new framework (as opposed to the theano-based framework we used at the time of the ECCV submission), so there are some changes in the architecture and training procedure. Performance should be about on par.

The files can be downloaded here:

The models trained without rotation augmentation perform better on matching problems where the images are generally upright. For data with random rotations, use the models trained with rotation augmentation.