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EGSDE: Unpaired Image-to-Image Translation via Energy-Guided Stochastic Differential Equations

Min Zhao · Fan Bao · Chongxuan LI · Jun Zhu

Keywords: [ stochastic differential equation ] [ product of experts ] [ Image to image translation ] [ diffusion probabilistic models ]

Abstract: Score-based diffusion models (SBDMs) have achieved the SOTA FID results in unpaired image-to-image translation (I2I). However, we notice that existing methods totally ignore the training data in the source domain, leading to sub-optimal solutions for unpaired I2I. To this end, we propose energy-guided stochastic differential equations (EGSDE) that employs an energy function pretrained on both the source and target domains to guide the inference process of a pretrained SDE for realistic and faithful unpaired I2I. Building upon two feature extractors, we carefully design the energy function such that it encourages the transferred image to preserve the domain-independent features and discard domain-specific ones. Further, we provide an alternative explanation of the EGSDE as a product of experts, where each of the three experts (corresponding to the SDE and two feature extractors) solely contributes to faithfulness or realism. Empirically, we compare EGSDE to a large family of baselines on three widely-adopted unpaired I2I tasks under four metrics. EGSDE not only consistently outperforms existing SBDMs-based methods in almost all settings but also achieves the SOTA realism results without harming the faithful performance. Furthermore, EGSDE allows for flexible trade-offs between realism and faithfulness and we improve the realism results further (e.g., FID of 51.04 in Cat $\to$ Dog and FID of 50.43 in Wild $\to$ Dog on AFHQ) by tuning hyper-parameters. The code is available at

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