SimUSR: A Simple but Strong Baseline for Unsupervised Image Super-resolution

23 Apr 2020  ·  Namhyuk Ahn, Jaejun Yoo, Kyung-Ah Sohn ·

In this paper, we tackle a fully unsupervised super-resolution problem, i.e., neither paired images nor ground truth HR images. We assume that low resolution (LR) images are relatively easy to collect compared to high resolution (HR) images. By allowing multiple LR images, we build a set of pseudo pairs by denoising and downsampling LR images and cast the original unsupervised problem into a supervised learning problem but in one level lower. Though this line of study is easy to think of and thus should have been investigated prior to any complicated unsupervised methods, surprisingly, there are currently none. Even more, we show that this simple method outperforms the state-of-the-art unsupervised method with a dramatically shorter latency at runtime, and significantly reduces the gap to the HR supervised models. We submitted our method in NTIRE 2020 super-resolution challenge and won 1st in PSNR, 2nd in SSIM, and 13th in LPIPS. This simple method should be used as the baseline to beat in the future, especially when multiple LR images are allowed during the training phase. However, even in the zero-shot condition, we argue that this method can serve as a useful baseline to see the gap between supervised and unsupervised frameworks.

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