Analyzing Perception-Distortion Tradeoff using Enhanced Perceptual Super-resolution Network

1 Nov 2018  ·  Subeesh Vasu, Nimisha Thekke Madam, Rajagopalan A. N ·

Convolutional neural network (CNN) based methods have recently achieved great success for image super-resolution (SR). However, most deep CNN based SR models attempt to improve distortion measures (e.g. PSNR, SSIM, IFC, VIF) while resulting in poor quantified perceptual quality (e.g. human opinion score, no-reference quality measures such as NIQE). Few works have attempted to improve the perceptual quality at the cost of performance reduction in distortion measures. A very recent study has revealed that distortion and perceptual quality are at odds with each other and there is always a trade-off between the two. Often the restoration algorithms that are superior in terms of perceptual quality, are inferior in terms of distortion measures. Our work attempts to analyze the trade-off between distortion and perceptual quality for the problem of single image SR. To this end, we use the well-known SR architecture-enhanced deep super-resolution (EDSR) network and show that it can be adapted to achieve better perceptual quality for a specific range of the distortion measure. While the original network of EDSR was trained to minimize the error defined based on per-pixel accuracy alone, we train our network using a generative adversarial network framework with EDSR as the generator module. Our proposed network, called enhanced perceptual super-resolution network (EPSR), is trained with a combination of mean squared error loss, perceptual loss, and adversarial loss. Our experiments reveal that EPSR achieves the state-of-the-art trade-off between distortion and perceptual quality while the existing methods perform well in either of these measures alone.

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