Neural Image Compression via Attentional Multi-Scale Back Projection and Frequency Decomposition

In recent years, neural image compression emerges as a rapidly developing topic in computer vision, where the state-of-the-art approaches now exhibit superior compression performance than their conventional counterparts. Despite the great progress, current methods still have limitations in preserving fine spatial details for optimal reconstruction, especially at low compression rates. We make three contributions in tackling this issue. First, we develop a novel back projection method with attentional and multi-scale feature fusion for augmented representation power. Our back projection method recalibrates the current estimation by establishing feedback connections between high-level and low-level attributes in an attentional and discriminative manner. Second, we propose to decompose the input image and separately process the distinct frequency components, whose derived latents are recombined using a novel dual attention module, so that details inside regions of interest could be explicitly manipulated. Third, we propose a novel training scheme for reducing the latent rounding residual. Experimental results show that, when measured in PSNR, our model reduces BD-rate by 9.88% and 10.32% over the state-of-the-art method, and 4.12% and 4.32% over the latest coding standard Versatile Video Coding (VVC) on the Kodak and CLIC2020 Professional Validation dataset, respectively. Our approach also produces more visually pleasant images when optimized for MS-SSIM. The significant improvement upon existing methods shows the effectiveness of our method in preserving and remedying spatial information for enhanced compression quality.

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