In this work, we present new proofs of convergence for Plug-and-Play (PnP) algorithms. PnP methods are efficient iterative algorithms for solving image inverse problems where regularization is performed by plugging a pre-trained denoiser in a proximal algorithm, such as Proximal Gradient Descent (PGD) or Douglas-Rachford Splitting (DRS). Recent research has explored convergence by incorporating a denoiser that writes exactly as a proximal operator. However, the corresponding PnP algorithm has then to be run with stepsize equal to $1$. The stepsize condition for nonconvex convergence of the proximal algorithm in use then translates to restrictive conditions on the regularization parameter of the inverse problem. This can severely degrade the restoration capacity of the algorithm. In this paper, we present two remedies for this limitation. First, we provide a novel convergence proof for PnP-DRS that does not impose any restrictions on the regularization parameter. Second, we examine a relaxed version of the PGD algorithm that converges across a broader range of regularization parameters. Our experimental study, conducted on deblurring and super-resolution experiments, demonstrate that both of these solutions enhance the accuracy of image restoration.
Plug-and-Play (PnP) methods are efficient iterative algorithms for solving ill-posed image inverse problems. PnP methods are obtained by using deep Gaussian denoisers instead of the proximal operator or the gradient-descent step within proximal algorithms. Current PnP schemes rely on data-fidelity terms that have either Lipschitz gradients or closed-form proximal operators, which is not applicable to Poisson inverse problems. Based on the observation that the Gaussian noise is not the adequate noise model in this setting, we propose to generalize PnP using theBregman Proximal Gradient (BPG) method. BPG replaces the Euclidean distance with a Bregman divergence that can better capture the smoothness properties of the problem. We introduce the Bregman Score Denoiser specifically parametrized and trained for the new Bregman geometry and prove that it corresponds to the proximal operator of a nonconvex potential. We propose two PnP algorithms based on the Bregman Score Denoiser for solving Poisson inverse problems. Extending the convergence results of BPG in the nonconvex settings, we show that the proposed methods converge, targeting stationary points of an explicit global functional. Experimental evaluations conducted on various Poisson inverse problems validate the convergence results and showcase effective restoration performance.
We present a discretization-free scalable framework for solving a large class of mass-conserving partial differential equations (PDEs), including the time-dependent Fokker-Planck equation and the Wasserstein gradient flow. The main observation is that the time-varying velocity field of the PDE solution needs to be self-consistent: it must satisfy a fixed-point equation involving the flow characterized by the same velocity field. By parameterizing the flow as a time-dependent neural network, we propose an end-to-end iterative optimization framework called self-consistent velocity matching to solve this class of PDEs. Compared to existing approaches, our method does not suffer from temporal or spatial discretization, covers a wide range of PDEs, and scales to high dimensions. Experimentally, our method recovers analytical solutions accurately when they are available and achieves comparable or better performance in high dimensions with less training time compared to recent large-scale JKO-based methods that are designed for solving a more restrictive family of PDEs.
This paper presents a new convergent Plug-and-Play (PnP) algorithm. PnP methods are efficient iterative algorithms for solving image inverse problems formulated as the minimization of the sum of a data-fidelity term and a regularization term. PnP methods perform regularization by plugging a pre-trained denoiser in a proximal algorithm, such as Proximal Gradient Descent (PGD). To ensure convergence of PnP schemes, many works study specific parametrizations of deep denoisers. However, existing results require either unverifiable or suboptimal hypotheses on the denoiser, or assume restrictive conditions on the parameters of the inverse problem. Observing that these limitations can be due to the proximal algorithm in use, we study a relaxed version of the PGD algorithm for minimizing the sum of a convex function and a weakly convex one. When plugged with a relaxed proximal denoiser, we show that the proposed PnP-$\alpha$PGD algorithm converges for a wider range of regularization parameters, thus allowing more accurate image restoration.
Image inpainting refers to the restoration of an image with missing regions in a way that is not detectable by the observer. The inpainting regions can be of any size and shape. This is an ill-posed inverse problem that does not have a unique solution. In this work, we focus on learning-based image completion methods for multiple and diverse inpainting which goal is to provide a set of distinct solutions for a given damaged image. These methods capitalize on the probabilistic nature of certain generative models to sample various solutions that coherently restore the missing content. Along the chapter, we will analyze the underlying theory and analyze the recent proposals for multiple inpainting. To investigate the pros and cons of each method, we present quantitative and qualitative comparisons, on common datasets, regarding both the quality and the diversity of the set of inpainted solutions. Our analysis allows us to identify the most successful generative strategies in both inpainting quality and inpainting diversity. This task is closely related to the learning of an accurate probability distribution of images. Depending on the dataset in use, the challenges that entail the training of such a model will be discussed through the analysis.
Plug-and-Play (PnP) methods solve ill-posed inverse problems through iterative proximal algorithms by replacing a proximal operator by a denoising operation. When applied with deep neural network denoisers, these methods have shown state-of-the-art visual performance for image restoration problems. However, their theoretical convergence analysis is still incomplete. Most of the existing convergence results consider nonexpansive denoisers, which is non-realistic, or limit their analysis to strongly convex data-fidelity terms in the inverse problem to solve. Recently, it was proposed to train the denoiser as a gradient descent step on a functional parameterized by a deep neural network. Using such a denoiser guarantees the convergence of the PnP version of the Half-Quadratic-Splitting (PnP-HQS) iterative algorithm. In this paper, we show that this gradient denoiser can actually correspond to the proximal operator of another scalar function. Given this new result, we exploit the convergence theory of proximal algorithms in the nonconvex setting to obtain convergence results for PnP-PGD (Proximal Gradient Descent) and PnP-ADMM (Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers). When built on top of a smooth gradient denoiser, we show that PnP-PGD and PnP-ADMM are convergent and target stationary points of an explicit functional. These convergence results are confirmed with numerical experiments on deblurring, super-resolution and inpainting.
Plug-and-Play methods constitute a class of iterative algorithms for imaging problems where regularization is performed by an off-the-shelf denoiser. Although Plug-and-Play methods can lead to tremendous visual performance for various image problems, the few existing convergence guarantees are based on unrealistic (or suboptimal) hypotheses on the denoiser, or limited to strongly convex data terms. In this work, we propose a new type of Plug-and-Play methods, based on half-quadratic splitting, for which the denoiser is realized as a gradient descent step on a functional parameterized by a deep neural network. Exploiting convergence results for proximal gradient descent algorithms in the non-convex setting, we show that the proposed Plug-and-Play algorithm is a convergent iterative scheme that targets stationary points of an explicit global functional. Besides, experiments show that it is possible to learn such a deep denoiser while not compromising the performance in comparison to other state-of-the-art deep denoisers used in Plug-and-Play schemes. We apply our proximal gradient algorithm to various ill-posed inverse problems, e.g. deblurring, super-resolution and inpainting. For all these applications, numerical results empirically confirm the convergence results. Experiments also show that this new algorithm reaches state-of-the-art performance, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
In a soccer game, the information provided by detecting and tracking brings crucial clues to further analyze and understand some tactical aspects of the game, including individual and team actions. State-of-the-art tracking algorithms achieve impressive results in scenarios on which they have been trained for, but they fail in challenging ones such as soccer games. This is frequently due to the player small relative size and the similar appearance among players of the same team. Although a straightforward solution would be to retrain these models by using a more specific dataset, the lack of such publicly available annotated datasets entails searching for other effective solutions. In this work, we propose a self-supervised pipeline which is able to detect and track low-resolution soccer players under different recording conditions without any need of ground-truth data. Extensive quantitative and qualitative experimental results are presented evaluating its performance. We also present a comparison to several state-of-the-art methods showing that both the proposed detector and the proposed tracker achieve top-tier results, in particular in the presence of small players.