Two-dimensional Convolutions

Note: The animations to explain convolution mechanics are used here with special thanks from Vincent Dumoulin and Francesco Visin’s “A guide to convolution arithmetic for deep learning” [arXiv:1603.07285]

We restricted the last lesson to one-dimensional convolution. In computer vision applications, however, we need to operate in more than one dimension. In this and subsequent lessons, we’ll up the ante by upgrading to two-dimensional convolutions.


We can extend the convolution to two-dimensions:

(fg)[m,n]=i=j=f[i,j]g[mi,nj](f * g)[m,n] = \sum_{i=-\infty}^\infty\sum_{j=-\infty}^\infty f[i,j] g[m - i,n-j]

Since two-dimensional convolution is used frequently in computer vision applications, we’ll invest more time explaining its mechanics.


Throughout the examples, we will assume the following settings:

  • The input image I (shown in blue) has the dimensions m×nm\times n.
  • The convolving kernel/filter, F having dimensions f×ff\times f (square kernels are the usual standard).
  • The output image O (shown in green) has the dimensions x×yx\times y.


We used Scipy’s convolve() as an N-dimensional convolution choice in the last lesson. We’ll go with a more solid foundation here.

JAX and its various neural network libraries provide a number of different convolution functions. Behind all those functions including Scipy’s) is the fundamental implementation of jax.lax.conv_general_dilated().

This function takes four (necessary) parameters:

  • Input matrix
  • Output matrix
  • Stride - use (1,1) by default
  • Padding - use [(0,0),(0,0)] by default

Note: Usually, 2D convolution requires a 4D volume due to channels and batch size, but we’ll keep it simple here by using single 2D matrices for II,OO, and FF.

Types of convolution

There are a few varieties of convolution, depending on whether or not we’re using a stride or padding. We’ll quickly review them.


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