What is Image Data Augmentation?

In this blog article, we will explain the definition of image data augmentation, the benefits of using augmented data in computer vision, and give you different image data augmentation techniques for computer vision.
Halime Yilmaz
5 minutes

What is Image Data Augmentation?

You've come up with an innovative plan for an ML project and located an excellent online dataset. With this data in hand, you train modern machine learning methods and get encouraging results on the first try. In any case, something doesn't seem right. When put into production, your model seems to have trouble functioning, and the results do not live up to expectations when exposed to real-world data.

Inadequate data means that your model cannot properly extract the necessary information. In addition, many open-source datasets are limited in size because of the difficulty and time commitment involved in gathering the necessary information.

Data augmentation strategies are used to address the issue of data shortage. Engineers may use data augmentation to create fresh data samples that are similar to the original data used to train the model. In the field of computer vision, data augmentation has shown to be very useful and has therefore become an essential aspect of any Deep Learning training pipeline (CV).

If you are wondering how to augment image data, allow us to explain the procedure in depth.

Definition of Image Data Augmentation

Let's start from scratch so that you can understand better. The act or process of increasing in size or quantity is known as "augmentation."

But what is data augmentation? The term "data augmentation" refers to a group of methods used to increase the quantity and caliber of machine learning training datasets in order to build stronger deep learning models. Deep networks need a lot of training data in order to generalize effectively and attain excellent accuracy. However, sometimes the size of the picture data is insufficient. In this situation, we use certain approaches to expand our training data. It artificially produces training data by manipulating the input data using random rotation, shifts, shear, and flips.

Here is the main question: what is image data augmentation?

The act of creating fresh photos for our deep learning model to be trained is known as "image augmentation." We do not need to manually gather these fresh photos since they are created using the training images that are already available.

Image data augmentation in a CVOps pipeline helps to boost the accuracy and speed of object recognition, classification, and segmentation.

Why Is It So Hard To Recognize Images?

Image recognition software must overcome challenges such as illumination, occlusion (partially concealed objects), backdrop, size, perspective, and more when performing traditional identification tasks such as differentiating between cats and dogs, for example.

To ensure that the final model performs effectively in spite of these obstacles, image data augmentation involves generating examples of certain translational invariances and adding them to the dataset.

The Benefits Of Using Augmented Data In Computer Vision

Larger, more comprehensive datasets, including all visual characteristics of a target object, are ideal for computer vision systems ready for deployment. It's easier to say than accomplish, of course.

Data gathering for computer vision models is challenging since it needs human picture capture and annotations, and it is hard to record every potential event.

Let's assume you need to compile a portfolio of landscape photos for an application. No human being can take a photo in every imaginable lighting scenario. It doesn't matter how thorough you are in gathering data; there will always be gaps in it that prevent your CV model from learning and providing results that differ from what you anticipate. Data augmentation methods may be used to generate replacement pictures for the missing information.

Image data augmentation eliminates the need to spend many hours gathering and cleaning raw data. Preventing overfitting helps you get the most out of your current dataset to train a better model.

Let's expand on the concept of "overfitting."

Recent advances in deep network architectures, powerful computing, and large data access have led to recent advances in deep learning technology. Deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been very successful at a lot of computer vision tasks, like image classification, identifying objects, and image segmentation. The generalizability of deep learning models is one of the most difficult problems. This is the difference between how well a model does on data it has already seen (called "training data") versus data it has never seen before (testing data). Models that are not good at generalization have made too many changes to the training data (Overfitting). 

Data Augmentation is a powerful way to avoid overfitting when building useful deep learning models. It does this by giving a complete set of possible data points to reduce the distance between the training and testing sets.

Different Image Augmentation Techniques for Computer Vision

Image augmentation can be used to feed data into the model using a variety of methods, such as:

  • Spatial augmentation: Scaling \ Cropping \ Flipping \ Rotation \ Translation  
  • Pixel augmentation: Brightness \ Contrast \ Saturation \ Hue

Because there are so many methods that can be used for this problem, image data can be the simplest to enhance. The multitude of enhancement methods available today delivers excellent results when applied to computer vision applications. Let's dive deeper into various image augmentation methods:

Spatial Augmentation

There are a variety of options for moving the picture around. Techniques for shifting the relative position of elements include:

Scaling: To enlarge or reduce an image, use the "Scaling" function.

Rotation: Images can be rotated to create novel viewpoints.

Flipping: Invert the picture by flipping it left, right, or upside down.

Pixel Augmentation

Colors are a significant source of data for machine learning models. Altering these hues will have varying visual consequences, and such adjustments include brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue.

By adjusting these parameters, we can simulate various lighting setups. Data representing various scenarios can be synthesized by manipulating photos in various ways. For picture enhancement, we can employ the following methods:

Blur: There are a variety of kernel configurations available for blurring images, and the degree of blurring achieved may be adjusted accordingly. Using blur, we may make images with blurry, out-of-focus backgrounds and other effects.

Sharpening: The objective of both blurring and sharpening is to achieve varying degrees of focus and clarity in the final picture, yet the former has the opposite impact on the latter.

Random Cropping: By randomly cutting off picture sections, a model can more accurately reflect real-world conditions by gaining insight from imperfect data.

All the discussed techniques can be employed to exponentially expand our data collection. Using an augmentation tool can eliminate the need to manually annotate data, which can save a lot of time. 

Cameralyze Image Processing Solutions

Image processing is the process of adjusting the quality of a digitally captured image so that it can be used for its intended purpose. Unfortunately, not every photo is going to be useful, and each picture can be customized to its specific purpose using image processing technologies. A computer algorithm then takes the captured picture and turns it into a numerical value. The picture is interpreted as a two-dimensional surface, with each pixel, color, and other feature acting as a functional component that algorithms can process.

Image processing can be divided into five types:

  • Visualization entails searching for items that are not apparent in the picture.
  • Retrieval: Browse and search photographs comparable to the original image in a big library of digital images.
  • Sharpening and restoration: from the original picture, create an upgraded image.
  • Recognition: Identify or recognize objects in a picture.
  • Pattern recognition measures the numerous patterns surrounding the items in an image.

Cameralyze is the first no-code visual intelligent platform processing images and provides hundreds of image processing solutions such as object recognition, object detection, human recognition, facial detection, facial emotion recognition, and much more.

We now use image processing for many applications, but detecting faces is one of the more prevalent ones. It is based on deep learning methods, in which the computer is initially taught to recognize human faces by analyzing their unique shapes, sizes, and other identifying characteristics. 

Once the algorithm has been trained using these characteristics of human faces, it will begin to recognize those traits wherever they appear in a picture. Today, the most popular social networking applications have built-in face identification tools for further protection, biometrics, and a variety of filters.

To learn more about facial recognition applications, read our article.

Final Words

In many computer vision tasks, deep learning has shown exceptional success. In order to prevent overfitting, deep neural networks often need a lot of training data. However, there may be insufficient labeled data for use in practical contexts. Data augmentation is an integral aspect of training deep learning models using picture data since it increases the amount and variety of training data.

Data augmentation has become an essential component of the successful deployment of deep learning models on image data because of its ability to increase the quantity and variety of training data.

In this blog article, we provided the definition of image data augmentation, the benefits of using augmented data in computer vision, and different image data augmentation techniques for computer vision for you.

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