DCT2net: an interpretable shallow CNN for image denoising

31 Jul 2021  ·  Sébastien Herbreteau, Charles Kervrann ·

This work tackles the issue of noise removal from images, focusing on the well-known DCT image denoising algorithm. The latter, stemming from signal processing, has been well studied over the years. Though very simple, it is still used in crucial parts of state-of-the-art "traditional" denoising algorithms such as BM3D. Since a few years however, deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) have outperformed their traditional counterparts, making signal processing methods less attractive. In this paper, we demonstrate that a DCT denoiser can be seen as a shallow CNN and thereby its original linear transform can be tuned through gradient descent in a supervised manner, improving considerably its performance. This gives birth to a fully interpretable CNN called DCT2net. To deal with remaining artifacts induced by DCT2net, an original hybrid solution between DCT and DCT2net is proposed combining the best that these two methods can offer; DCT2net is selected to process non-stationary image patches while DCT is optimal for piecewise smooth patches. Experiments on artificially noisy images demonstrate that two-layer DCT2net provides comparable results to BM3D and is as fast as DnCNN algorithm composed of more than a dozen of layers.

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