Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Signal processing and learning methods for visual data representation and compression

Sparse representation, data dimensionality reduction, compression, scalability, rate-distortion theory

Single sensor light field acquisition using coded masks

Participants : Christine Guillemot, Ehsan Miandji, Hoai Nam Nguyen.

We developed a simple variational approach for reconstructing color light fields in the compressed sensing framework with very low sampling ratio, using both coded masks and color filter arrays (CFA). A coded mask is placed in front of the camera sensor to optically modulate incoming rays, while a color filter array is assumed to be implemented at the sensor level to compress color information. Hence, the light field coded projections, operated by a combination of the coded mask and the CFA, measure incomplete color samples with a three times lower sampling ratio than reference methods that assume full color (channel-by-channel) acquisition. We then derived adaptive algorithms to directly reconstruct the light field from raw sensor measurements by minimizing a convex energy composed of two terms. The first one is the data fidelity term which takes into account the use of CFAs in the imaging model, and the second one is a regularization term which favors the sparse representation of light fields in a specific transform domain. Experimental results show that the proposed approach produces a better reconstruction both in terms of visual quality and quantitative performance when compared to reference reconstruction methods that implicitly assume prior color interpolation of coded projections.

We then pursued this study by developing a unifying image formation model that abstracts the architecture of most existing compressive-sensing light-field cameras, equipped with single lens and coded masks, as an equivalent multi-mask camera. It allows to compare different designs with a number of criteria: compression rate, light efficiency, measurement incoherence, as well as acquisition quality. Moreover, the underlying multi-mask camera can be flexibly adapted for various applications, such as single and multiple acquisitions, spatial super-resolution, parallax reconstruction, and color restoration. We also derived a generic variational algorithm solving all these concrete problems by considering appropriate sampling operators.

3D point cloud processing and plenoptic point cloud compression

Participants : Christian Galea, Christine Guillemot, Maja Krivokuca.

Light fields, by capturing light rays emitted by a 3D scene along different orientations, give a very rich description of the scene enabling a variety of computer vision applications. The recorded 4D light field gives in particular information about the parallax and depth of the scene. The estimated depth can then be used to construct 3D models of the scene, e.g. in the form of a 3D point cloud, The constructed 3D point clouds, however, generally contain distortions and artefacts primarily caused by inaccuracies in the depth maps. We have developed a method for noise removal in 3D point clouds constructed from light fields [21]. While existing methods discard outliers, the proposed approach instead attempts to correct the positions of points, and thus reduce noise without removing any points, by exploiting the consistency among views in a light-field. The proposed 3D point cloud construction and denoising method exploits uncertainty measures on depth values.

Beyond classical 3D point clouds, plenoptic point clouds can be seen as natural extensions of 3D point clouds to Surface Light Fields (SLF). While the concept of surface light field (SLF) has been introduced as a function that assigns a color to each ray originating on a surface, plenoptic point clouds represent in each voxel illumination and color seen from different camera viewpoints. In other words, instead of each point being associated with a single colour value, there can be multiple values to represent the colour at that point as perceived from different viewpoints. This concept aims at combining the best of light fields and computer graphics modeling, for photo-realistic rendering from arbitrary points of view. However, this representation leads to color maps per voxel, hence to large volumes of data. We have addressed the problem of efficient compression of this data based on the Region-Adaptive Hierarchical Transform (RAHT) method in which we have introduced clustering and speculat/diffuse components separation showing better adapted plenoptic point cloud color maps transforms.

Low-rank models and representations for light fields

Participants : Elian Dib, Christine Guillemot, Xiaoran Jiang.

We have addressed the problem of light field dimensionality reduction. We have introduced a local low-rank approximation method using a parameteric disparity model. The local support of the approximation is defined by super-rays. Superrays can be seen as a set of super-pixels that are coherent across all light field views. The light field low-rank assumption depends on how much the views are correlated, i.e. on how well they can be aligned by disparity compensation. We have therefore introduced a disparity estimation method using a low-rank prior. We have considered a parametric model describing the local variations of disparity within each super-ray, and alternatively search for the best parameters of the disparity model and of the low-rank approximation. We have assessed the proposed disparity parametric model, by considering an affine disparity model. We have shown that using the proposed disparity parametric model and estimation algorithm gives an alignment of superpixels across views that favours the low-rank approximation compared with using disparity estimated with classical computer vision methods. The low-rank matrix approximation is then computed on the disparity compensated super-rays using a singular value decomposition (SVD). A coding algorithm has been developed for the different components of the proposed disparity-compensated low-rank approximation [20].

We have also, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, introduced a new Light Field representation for efficient Light Field processing and rendering called Fourier Disparity Layers (FDL) [12]. The proposed FDL representation samples the Light Field in the depth (or equivalently the disparity) dimension by decomposing the scene as a discrete sum of layers. The layers can be constructed from various types of Light Field inputs including a set of sub-aperture images, a focal stack, or even a combination of both. From our derivations in the Fourier domain, the layers are simply obtained by a regularized least square regression performed independently at each spatial frequency, which is efficiently parallelized in a GPU implementation. Our model is also used to derive a gradient descent based calibration step that estimates the input view positions and an optimal set of disparity values required for the layer construction. Once the layers are known, they can be simply shifted and filtered to produce different viewpoints of the scene while controlling the focus and simulating a camera aperture of arbitrary shape and size. A direct implementation in the Fourier domain allows real time Light Field rendering. Finally, direct applications such as view interpolation or extrapolation and denoising have also been evaluated [12]. The use of this representation for view synthesis based compression has also been assessed in [19].

Graph-based transforms and prediction for light fields

Participants : Christine Guillemot, Thomas Maugey, Mira Rizkallah.

We have investigated Graph-based transforms for low dimensional embedding of light field data. Both non separable and separable transforms have been considered. The low-dimensional embedding can be learned with a few eigen vectors of the graph Laplacian. However, the dimension of the data (e.g. light fields) has obvious implications on the storage footprint of the Laplacian matrix and on the eigenvectors computation complexity, making graph-based non separable transforms impractical for such data. To cope with this difficulty, we have developed local super-rays based non separable and separable (spatial followed by angular) weighted and unweighted transforms to jointly capture light fields correlation spatially and across views [14]. Despite the local support of limited size defined by the super-rays, the Laplacian matrix of the non separable graph remains of high dimension and its diagonalization to compute the transform eigen vectors remains computationally expensive. To solve this problem, we have then performed the local spatio-angular transform in a separable manner.

Separable transforms on super-rays allow us to significantly decrease the eigenvector computation complexity. However, the basis functions of the spatial graph transforms to be applied on the super-ray pixels of each view are often not compatible. We have indeed shown that when the shape of corresponding super-pixels in the different views is not isometric, the basis functions of the spatial transforms are not coherent, resulting in decreased correlation between spatial transform coefficients, hence in a loss of performance of the angular transform, compared to the non-separable case. We have therefore developed a graph construction optimization procedure which seeks to find the eigen-vectors which align the best with those of a reference one while still approximately diagonalizing their respective Laplacians [14]. The proposed optimization method aims at preserving angular correlation even when the shapes of the super-pixels are not isometric. Experimental results show the benefit of the approach in terms of energy compaction. A coding scheme has also been developed to assess the rate-distortion perfomances of the proposed transforms

The use of local transforms with limited supports is a way to cope with the computational difficulty. Unfortunately, the locality of the support may not allow us to fully exploit long term signal dependencies present in both the spatial and angular dimensions in the case of light fields. We have therefore introduced sampling and prediction schemes, based on graph sampling theory, with local graph-based transforms enabling to efficiently compact the signal energy and exploit dependencies beyond the local graph support [31], [13]. The proposed approach has been shown to be very efficient in the context of spatio-angular transforms for quasi-lossless compression of light fields.

Intra-coding of 360-degree images on the sphere

Participants : Navid Mahmoudian Bidgoli, Thomas Maugey, Aline Roumy.

Omni-directional images are characterized by their high resolution (usually 8K) and therefore require high compression efficiency. Existing methods project the spherical content onto one or multiple planes and process the mapped content with classical 2D video coding algorithms. However, this projection induces sub-optimality. Indeed, after projection, the statistical properties of the pixels are modified, the connectivity between neighboring pixels on the sphere might be lost, and finally, the sampling is not uniform. Therefore, we propose to process uniformly distributed pixels directly on the sphere to achieve high compression efficiency. In particular, a scanning order and a prediction scheme are proposed to exploit, directly on the sphere, the statistical dependencies between the pixels. A Graph Fourier Transform is also applied to exploit local dependencies while taking into account the 3D geometry. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method provides up to 5.6% bitrate reduction and on average around 2% bitrate reduction over state-of-the-art methods. This work has led to a publication in the PCS conference 2019 [26].