Masked Pre-trained Model Enables Universal Zero-shot Denoiser

In this work, we observe that the model, which is trained on vast general images using masking strategy, has been naturally embedded with the distribution knowledge regarding natural images, and thus spontaneously attains the underlying potential for strong image denoising. Based on this observation, we propose a novel zero-shot denoising paradigm, i.e., Masked Pre-train then Iterative fill (MPI). MPI pre-trains a model with masking and fine-tunes it for denoising of a single image with unseen noise degradation. Concretely, the proposed MPI comprises two key procedures: 1) Masked Pre-training involves training a model on multiple natural images with random masks to gather generalizable representations, allowing for practical applications in varying noise degradation and even in distinct image types. 2) Iterative filling is devised to efficiently fuse pre-trained knowledge for denoising. Similar to but distinct from pre-training, random masking is retained to bridge the gap, but only the predicted parts covered by masks are assembled for efficiency, which enables high-quality denoising within a limited number of iterations. Comprehensive experiments across various noisy scenarios underscore the notable advances of proposed MPI over previous approaches with a marked reduction in inference time. Code is available at

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