Differentiable Histogram Loss Functions for Intensity-based Image-to-Image Translation

Mor Avi-Aharon, Assaf Arbelle, Tammy Riklin Raviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We introduce the HueNet - a novel deep learning framework for a differentiable construction of intensity (1D) and joint (2D) histograms and present its applicability to paired and unpaired image-to-image translation problems. The key idea is an innovative technique for augmenting a generative neural network by histogram layers appended to the image generator. These histogram layers allow us to define two new histogram-based loss functions for constraining the structural appearance of the synthesized output image and its color distribution. Specifically, the color similarity loss is defined by the Earth Mover's Distance between the intensity histograms of the network output and a color reference image. The structural similarity loss is determined by the mutual information between the output and a content reference image based on their joint histogram. Although the HueNet can be applied to a variety of image-to-image translation problems, we chose to demonstrate its strength on the tasks of color transfer, exemplar-based image colorization, and edges → photo, where the colors of the output image are predefined. The code is available at https://github.com/mor-avi-aharon-bgu/HueNet.git.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11642-11653
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Intensity histogram loss functions
  • earth movers distance
  • histogram layers
  • image-to-image translation
  • mutual information loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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