Photon-Efficient 3D Imaging with A Non-Local Neural Network

Photon-efficient imaging has enabled a number of applications relying on single-photon sensors that can capture a 3D image with as few as one photon per pixel. In practice, however, measurements of low photon counts are often mixed with heavy background noise, which poses a great challenge for existing computational reconstruction algorithms. In this paper, we first analyze the long-range correlations in both spatial and temporal dimensions of the measurements. Then we propose a non-local neural network for depth reconstruction by exploiting the long-range correlations. The proposed network achieves decent reconstruction fidelity even under photon counts (and signal-to-background ratio, SBR) as low as 1 photon/pixel (and 0.01 SBR), which significantly surpasses the state-of-the-art. Moreover, our non-local network trained on simulated data can be well generalized to different real-world imaging systems, which could extend the application scope of photon-efficient imaging in challenging scenarios with a strict limit on optical flux. Code is available at

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