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Image Super-Resolution via Iterative Refinement

Chitwan Saharia
Jonathan Ho
Mohammad Norouzi
William Chan
Submission to ICCV 2021
Google Scholar


We present SR3, an approach to image Super-Resolution via Repeated Refinement. SR3 adapts denoising diffusion probabilistic models to conditional image generation and performs super-resolution through a stochastic denoising process. Inference starts with pure Gaussian noise and iteratively refines the noisy output using a U-Net model trained on denoising at various noise levels. SR3 exhibits strong performance on super-resolution tasks at different magnification factors, on faces and natural images. We conduct human evaluation on a standard 8× face super-resolution task on CelebA-HQ, comparing with SOTA GAN methods. SR3 achieves a fool rate close to 50%, suggesting photo-realistic outputs, while GAN baselines do not exceed a fool rate of 34%. We further show the effectiveness of SR3 in cascaded image generation, where generative models are chained with super-resolution models, yielding competitive FID scores on ImageNet.