Image denoising has been a well studied problem in the field of image processing. Yet researchers continue to focus attention on it to better the current state-of-the-art. Recently proposed methods take different approaches to the problem and yet their denoising performances are comparable. A pertinent question then to ask is whether there is a theoretical limit to denoising performance and, more importantly, are we there yet? As camera manufacturers continue to pack increasing numbers of pixels per unit area, an increase in noise sensitivity manifests itself in the form of a noisier image. We study the performance bounds for the image denoising problem. Our work in this paper estimates a lower bound on the mean squared error of the denoised result and compares the performance of current state-of-the-art denoising methods with this bound. We show that despite the phenomenal recent progress in the quality of denoising algorithms, some room for improvement still remains for a wide class of general images, and at certain signal-to-noise levels. Therefore, image denoising is not dead--yet.
Abstract-In this paper, we propose a denoising method motivated by our previous analysis of the performance bounds for image denoising. Insights from that study are used here to derive a high-performance practical denoising algorithm. We propose a patch-based Wiener filter that exploits patch redundancy for image denoising. Our framework uses both geometrically and photometrically similar patches to estimate the different filter parameters. We describe how these parameters can be accurately estimated directly from the input noisy image. Our denoising approach, designed for near-optimal performance (in the mean-squared error sense), has a sound statistical foundation that is analyzed in detail. The performance of our approach is experimentally verified on a variety of images and noise levels.The results presented here demonstrate that our proposed method is on par or exceeding the current state of the art, both visually and quantitatively.Index Terms-Denoising bounds, image clustering, image denoising, linear minimum mean-squared-error (LMMSE) estimator, Wiener filter.
Abstract-In this paper, we propose K-LLD: a patch-based, locally adaptive denoising method based on clustering the given noisy image into regions of similar geometric structure. In order to effectively perform such clustering, we employ as features the local weight functions derived from our earlier work on steering kernel regression . These weights are exceedingly informative and robust in conveying reliable local structural information about the image even in the presence of significant amounts of noise. Next, we model each region (or cluster)-which may not be spatially contiguous-by "learning" a best basis describing the patches within that cluster using principal components analysis. This learned basis (or "dictionary") is then employed to optimally estimate the underlying pixel values using a kernel regression framework. An iterated version of the proposed algorithm is also presented which leads to further performance enhancements. We also introduce a novel mechanism for optimally choosing the local patch size for each cluster using Stein's unbiased risk estimator (SURE). We illustrate the overall algorithm's capabilities with several examples. These indicate that the proposed method appears to be competitive with some of the most recently published state of the art denoising methods.Index Terms-Clustering, dictionary learning, image denoising, kernel regression, principal component analysis, Stein's unbiased risk estimator (SURE).
Many automated processes such as auto-piloting rely on a good semantic segmentation as a critical component. To speed up performance, it is common to downsample the input frame. However, this comes at the cost of missed small objects and reduced accuracy at semantic boundaries. To address this problem, we propose a new content-adaptive downsampling technique that learns to favor sampling locations near semantic boundaries of target classes. Costperformance analysis shows that our method consistently outperforms the uniform sampling improving balance between accuracy and computational efficiency. Our adaptive sampling gives segmentation with better quality of boundaries and more reliable support for smaller-size objects.
In this paper, we study the Papoulis-Gerchberg (PG) method and its applications to domains of image restoration such as super-resolution (SR) and inpainting. We show that the method performs well under certain conditions. We then suggest improvements to the method to achieve better SR and inpainting results. The modification applied to the SR process also allows us to apply the method to a larger class of images by doing away with some of the restrictions inherent in the classical PG method. We also present results to demonstrate the performance of the proposed techniques.
Abstract-Recently, in a previous work, we proposed a way to bound how well any given image can be denoised. The bound was computed directly from the noise-free image that was assumed to be available. In this work, we extend the formulation to the more practical case where no ground truth is available. We show that the parameters of the bounds, namely the cluster covariances and level of redundancy for patches in the image, can be estimated directly from the noise corrupted image. Further, we analyze the bounds formulation to show that these two parameters are interdependent and they, along with the bounds formulation as a whole, have a nice information-theoretic interpretation as well. The results are verified through a variety of well-motivated experiments.Index Terms-Bayesian Cramér-Rao lower bound, image clustering, image denoising, image patch model, mutual information, Rényi entropy, Shannon entropy.
The Non-Local Means (NLM) method of denoising has received considerable attention in the image processing community due to its performance, despite its simplicity. In this paper, we show that NLM is a zero-th order kernel regression method, with a very specific choice of kernel. As such, it can be generalized. The original method of NLM, we show, implicitly assumes local constancy of the underlying image data. Once put in the context of kernel regression, we extend the existing Non-Local Means algorithm to higher orders of regression which allows us to approximate the image data locally by a polynomial or other localized basis of a given order. These extra degrees of freedom allow us to perform better denoising in texture regions. Overall the higher order method displays consistently better denoising capabilities compared to the zero-th order method. The power of the higher order method is amply illustrated with the help of various denoising experiments.
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