This paper reviews the challenge on constrained high dynamic range (HDR) imaging that was part of the New Trends in Image Restoration and Enhancement (NTIRE) workshop, held in conjunction with CVPR 2022. This manuscript focuses on the competition set-up, datasets, the proposed methods and their results. The challenge aims at estimating an HDR image from multiple respective low dynamic range (LDR) observations, which might suffer from under- or over-exposed regions and different sources of noise. The challenge is composed of two tracks with an emphasis on fidelity and complexity constraints: In Track 1, participants are asked to optimize objective fidelity scores while imposing a low-complexity constraint (i.e. solutions can not exceed a given number of operations). In Track 2, participants are asked to minimize the complexity of their solutions while imposing a constraint on fidelity scores (i.e. solutions are required to obtain a higher fidelity score than the prescribed baseline). Both tracks use the same data and metrics: Fidelity is measured by means of PSNR with respect to a ground-truth HDR image (computed both directly and with a canonical tonemapping operation), while complexity metrics include the number of Multiply-Accumulate (MAC) operations and runtime (in seconds).
In this paper, we devise a distributional framework on actor-critic as a solution to distributional instability, action type restriction, and conflation between samples and statistics. We propose a new method that minimizes the Cram\'er distance with the multi-step Bellman target distribution generated from a novel Sample-Replacement algorithm denoted SR($\lambda$), which learns the correct value distribution under multiple Bellman operations. Parameterizing a value distribution with Gaussian Mixture Model further improves the efficiency and the performance of the method, which we name GMAC. We empirically show that GMAC captures the correct representation of value distributions and improves the performance of a conventional actor-critic method with low computational cost, in both discrete and continuous action spaces using Arcade Learning Environment (ALE) and PyBullet environment.