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

Algorithms for inverse problems in visual data processing

Inpainting, view synthesis, super-resolution

View synthesis in light fields and stereo set-ups

Participants : Simon Evain, Christine Guillemot, Xiaoran Jiang, Jinglei Shi.

We have developed a learning-based framework for light field view synthesis from a subset of input views. Building upon a light-weight optical flow estimation network to obtain depth maps, our method employs two reconstruction modules in pixel and feature domains respectively. For the pixel-wise reconstruction, occlusions are explicitly handled by a disparity-dependent interpolation filter, whereas inpainting on disoccluded areas is learned by convolutional layers. Due to disparity inconsistencies, the pixel-based reconstruction may lead to blurriness in highly textured areas as well as on object contours. On the contrary, the feature-based reconstruction performs well on high frequencies, making the reconstruction in the two domains complementary. End-to-end learning is finally performed including a fusion module merging pixel and feature-based reconstructions. Experimental results show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on both synthetic and real-world datasets, moreover, it is even able to extend light fields baseline by extrapolating high quality views without additional training.

We have also designed a very lightweight neural network architecture, trained on stereo data pairs, which performs view synthesis from one single image [7]. With the growing success of multi-view formats, this problem is indeed increasingly relevant. The network returns a prediction built from disparity estimation, which fills in wrongly predicted regions using a occlusion handling technique. To do so, during training, the network learns to estimate the left-right consistency structural constraint on the pair of stereo input images, to be able to replicate it at test time from one single image. The method is built upon the idea of blending two predictions: a prediction based on disparity estimation, and a prediction based on direct minimization in occluded regions. The network is also able to identify these occluded areas at training and at test time by checking the pixelwise left-right consistency of the produced disparity maps. At test time, the approach can thus generate a left-side and a right-side view from one input image, as well as a depth map and a pixelwise confidence measure in the prediction. The work outperforms visually and metric-wise state-of-the-art approaches on the challenging KITTI dataset, all while reducing by a very significant order of magnitude (5 or 10 times) the required number of parameters (6.5 M).

Inverse problems in light field imaging with 4D anisotropic diffusion and neural networks

Participants : Pierre Allain, Christine Guillemot, Laurent Guillo.

We have addressed inverse problems in ligt field imaging by following two methodological directions. We first introduced a 4D anisotropic diffusion framework based on PDEs [4]. The proposed regularization method operated in the 4D ray space and, unlike the methods operating on epipolar plane images, does not require prior estimation of disparity maps. The method performs a PDE-based diffusion with anisotropy steered by a tensor field based on local structures in the 4D ray space that we extract using a 4D tensor structure. To enhance coherent structures, the smoothing along directions, surfaces, or volumes in the 4D ray space is performed along the eigenvectors directions. Although anisotropic diffusion is well understood for 2D imaging, its interpretation and understanding in the 4D space is far from being straightforward. We have analysed the behaviour of the diffusion process on a light field toy example, i.e. a tesseract (a 4D cube). This simple light field example allows an in-depth analysis of how each eigenvector influences the diffusion process. The proposed ray space regularizer is a tool that has enabled us to tackle a variety of inverse problems (denoising, angular and spatial interpolation, regularization for enhancing disparity estimation as well as inpainting) in the ray space.

In collaboration with the university of Malta (Pr. Reuben Farrugia), we have explored the benefit of low-rank priors in light field super-resolution with deep neural networks. This led us to design a learning-based spatial light field super-resolution method that allows the restoration of the entire light field with consistency across all sub-aperture images [8]. The algorithm first uses optical flows to align the light field views and then reduces its angular dimension using low-rank approximation. We then consider the linearly independent columns of the resulting low-rank model as an embedding, which is restored using a deep convolutional neural network. The super-resolved embedding is then used to reconstruct the remaining sub-aperture images. The original disparities are restored using inverse warping where missing pixels are approximated using a novel light field inpainting algorithm. We pursued this study by designing an approach that, thanks to a low-rank approximation model, can leverage models learned for 2D image super-resolution [9]. This approach avoids the need for a large amount of light field training data which is, unlike 2D images, not available. It also allows us to reduce the dimension, hence the number of parameters, of the network to be learned.

Neural networks for axial light field super-resolution

Participants : Christine Guillemot, Zhaolin Xiao.

Axial light field resolution refers to the ability to distinguish features at different depths by refocusing. The axial refocusing precision corresponds to the minimum distance in the axial direction between two distinguishable refocusing planes. High refocusing precision can be essential for some light field applications like microscopy. We first introduced a refocusing precision model based on a geometrical analysis of the flow of rays within the virtual camera. The model establishes the relationship between the feature distinguishability by refocusing and different camera settings. We have then developed a learning-based method to extrapolate novel views from axial volumes of sheared epipolar plane images (EPIs (see an example of extrapolated views in Fig.3)). As extended numerical aperture (NA) in classical imaging, the extrapolated light field gives re-focused images with a shallower depth of field (DOF), leading to more accurate refocusing results. Most importantly, the proposed approach does not need accurate depth estimation. Experimental results with both synthetic and real light fields, including with microscopic data, demonstrate that our approach can effectively enhance the light field axial refocusing precision.

Figure 3. Extrapolation results with a 4X larger baseline, in comparison with reference methods using multiple plane images (MPI) and Fourier disparity layers (FDL).

Neural networks for inverse problems in 2D imaging

Participants : Christine Guillemot, Aline Roumy, Alexander Sagel.

The Deep Image Prior has been recently introduced to solve inverse problems in image processing with no need for training data other than the image itself. However, the original training algorithm of the Deep Image Prior constrains the reconstructed image to be on a manifold described by a convolutional neural network. For some problems, this neglects prior knowledge and can render certain regularizers ineffective. We have developed an alternative approach that relaxes this constraint and fully exploits all prior knowledge. We have evaluated our algorithm on the problem of reconstructing a high-resolution image from a downsampled version and observed a significant improvement over the original Deep Image Prior algorithm.