This paper reviews the NTIRE 2022 Challenge on Super-Resolution and Quality Enhancement of Compressed Video. In this challenge, we proposed the LDV 2.0 dataset, which includes the LDV dataset (240 videos) and 95 additional videos. This challenge includes three tracks. Track 1 aims at enhancing the videos compressed by HEVC at a fixed QP. Track 2 and Track 3 target both the super-resolution and quality enhancement of HEVC compressed video. They require x2 and x4 super-resolution, respectively. The three tracks totally attract more than 600 registrations. In the test phase, 8 teams, 8 teams and 12 teams submitted the final results to Tracks 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The proposed methods and solutions gauge the state-of-the-art of super-resolution and quality enhancement of compressed video. The proposed LDV 2.0 dataset is available at https://github.com/RenYang-home/LDV_dataset. The homepage of this challenge (including open-sourced codes) is at https://github.com/RenYang-home/NTIRE22_VEnh_SR.
Classic image scaling (e.g. bicubic) can be seen as one convolutional layer and a single upscaling filter. Its implementation is ubiquitous in all display devices and image processing software. In the last decade deep learning systems have been introduced for the task of image super-resolution (SR), using several convolutional layers and numerous filters. These methods have taken over the benchmarks of image quality for upscaling tasks. Would it be possible to replace classic upscalers with deep learning architectures on edge devices such as display panels, tablets, laptop computers, etc.? On one hand, the current trend in Edge-AI chips shows a promising future in this direction, with rapid development of hardware that can run deep-learning tasks efficiently. On the other hand, in image SR only few architectures have pushed the limit to extreme small sizes that can actually run on edge devices at real-time. We explore possible solutions to this problem with the aim to fill the gap between classic upscalers and small deep learning configurations. As a transition from classic to deep-learning upscaling we propose edge-SR (eSR), a set of one-layer architectures that use interpretable mechanisms to upscale images. Certainly, a one-layer architecture cannot reach the quality of deep learning systems. Nevertheless, we find that for high speed requirements, eSR becomes better at trading-off image quality and runtime performance. Filling the gap between classic and deep-learning architectures for image upscaling is critical for massive adoption of this technology. It is equally important to have an interpretable system that can reveal the inner strategies to solve this problem and guide us to future improvements and better understanding of larger networks.
This paper reviews the first NTIRE challenge on quality enhancement of compressed video, with a focus on the proposed methods and results. In this challenge, the new Large-scale Diverse Video (LDV) dataset is employed. The challenge has three tracks. Tracks 1 and 2 aim at enhancing the videos compressed by HEVC at a fixed QP, while Track 3 is designed for enhancing the videos compressed by x265 at a fixed bit-rate. Besides, the quality enhancement of Tracks 1 and 3 targets at improving the fidelity (PSNR), and Track 2 targets at enhancing the perceptual quality. The three tracks totally attract 482 registrations. In the test phase, 12 teams, 8 teams and 11 teams submitted the final results of Tracks 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The proposed methods and solutions gauge the state-of-the-art of video quality enhancement. The homepage of the challenge: https://github.com/RenYang-home/NTIRE21_VEnh
We propose a simple extension of residual networks that works simultaneously in multiple resolutions. Our network design is inspired by the iterative back-projection algorithm but seeks the more difficult task of learning how to enhance images. Compared to similar approaches, we propose a novel solution to make back-projections run in multiple resolutions by using a data pipeline workflow. Features are updated at multiple scales in each layer of the network. The update dynamic through these layers includes interactions between different resolutions in a way that is causal in scale, and it is represented by a system of ODEs, as opposed to a single ODE in the case of ResNets. The system can be used as a generic multi-resolution approach to enhance images. We test it on several challenging tasks with special focus on super-resolution and raindrop removal. Our results are competitive with state-of-the-arts and show a strong ability of our system to learn both global and local image features.
Multi-Grid Back-Projection (MGBP) is a fully-convolutional network architecture that can learn to restore images and videos with upscaling artifacts. Using the same strategy of multi-grid partial differential equation (PDE) solvers this multiscale architecture scales computational complexity efficiently with increasing output resolutions. The basic processing block is inspired in the iterative back-projection (IBP) algorithm and constitutes a type of cross-scale residual block with feedback from low resolution references. The architecture performs in par with state-of-the-arts alternatives for regression targets that aim to recover an exact copy of a high resolution image or video from which only a downscale image is known. A perceptual quality target aims to create more realistic outputs by introducing artificial changes that can be different from a high resolution original content as long as they are consistent with the low resolution input. For this target we propose a strategy using noise inputs in different resolution scales to control the amount of artificial details generated in the output. The noise input controls the amount of innovation that the network uses to create artificial realistic details. The effectiveness of this strategy is shown in benchmarks and it is explained as a particular strategy to traverse the perception-distortion plane.
* Accepted for publication in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal
Processing (J-STSP). arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1809.10711
This paper reviews the video extreme super-resolution challenge associated with the AIM 2020 workshop at ECCV 2020. Common scaling factors for learned video super-resolution (VSR) do not go beyond factor 4. Missing information can be restored well in this region, especially in HR videos, where the high-frequency content mostly consists of texture details. The task in this challenge is to upscale videos with an extreme factor of 16, which results in more serious degradations that also affect the structural integrity of the videos. A single pixel in the low-resolution (LR) domain corresponds to 256 pixels in the high-resolution (HR) domain. Due to this massive information loss, it is hard to accurately restore the missing information. Track 1 is set up to gauge the state-of-the-art for such a demanding task, where fidelity to the ground truth is measured by PSNR and SSIM. Perceptually higher quality can be achieved in trade-off for fidelity by generating plausible high-frequency content. Track 2 therefore aims at generating visually pleasing results, which are ranked according to human perception, evaluated by a user study. In contrast to single image super-resolution (SISR), VSR can benefit from additional information in the temporal domain. However, this also imposes an additional requirement, as the generated frames need to be consistent along time.
This paper reviews the NTIRE 2020 challenge on real image denoising with focus on the newly introduced dataset, the proposed methods and their results. The challenge is a new version of the previous NTIRE 2019 challenge on real image denoising that was based on the SIDD benchmark. This challenge is based on a newly collected validation and testing image datasets, and hence, named SIDD+. This challenge has two tracks for quantitatively evaluating image denoising performance in (1) the Bayer-pattern rawRGB and (2) the standard RGB (sRGB) color spaces. Each track ~250 registered participants. A total of 22 teams, proposing 24 methods, competed in the final phase of the challenge. The proposed methods by the participating teams represent the current state-of-the-art performance in image denoising targeting real noisy images. The newly collected SIDD+ datasets are publicly available at: https://bit.ly/siddplus_data.
This paper reviews the NTIRE 2020 challenge on real world super-resolution. It focuses on the participating methods and final results. The challenge addresses the real world setting, where paired true high and low-resolution images are unavailable. For training, only one set of source input images is therefore provided along with a set of unpaired high-quality target images. In Track 1: Image Processing artifacts, the aim is to super-resolve images with synthetically generated image processing artifacts. This allows for quantitative benchmarking of the approaches \wrt a ground-truth image. In Track 2: Smartphone Images, real low-quality smart phone images have to be super-resolved. In both tracks, the ultimate goal is to achieve the best perceptual quality, evaluated using a human study. This is the second challenge on the subject, following AIM 2019, targeting to advance the state-of-the-art in super-resolution. To measure the performance we use the benchmark protocol from AIM 2019. In total 22 teams competed in the final testing phase, demonstrating new and innovative solutions to the problem.