Google Research

Projected Distribution Loss for Image Enhancement

ICCP 2021 (2021) (to appear)


Features obtained from object detection CNNs have been widely used for measuring perceptual similarities between images. Such differentiable metrics can be used as perceptual learning losses to train image enhancement models. However, choice of the distance function between input and target features may have a consequential impact on the performance of trained model. While using the norm of the difference between extracted features leads to limited hallucination of details, measuring distance between distributions of features may generate more textures; yet also more unrealistic details and artifacts. In this paper, we demonstrate that aggregating 1D-Wasserstein distances between CNN activations is more reliable than the existing approaches, and it can significantly improve the perceptual performance of enhancement models. More explicitly, we show that in imaging applications such as denoising, super-resolution, demosaicing, deblurring and JPEG artifact removal, the proposed learning loss outperforms the current state-of-the-art on reference-based perceptual losses. This means that the proposed learning loss can be plugged into different imaging frameworks and produce perceptually realistic results.

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