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Regularization with Solution-driven Adaptivity

Frank Lenzen1

joint work with Florian Becker1, Johannes Berger2, Jan Lellmann3, Stefania Petra4 and Christoph Schnörr1,2

1 Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI), University of Heidelberg
2 Image and Pattern Analysis Group (IPA), University of Heidelberg
3 Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge
4 Mathematical Imaging Group, University of Heidelberg


1. Background
2. Adaptive Total Variation Regularization
3. Proposed Approach
4. Results
5. References


For image restoration tasks such as denoising, deblurring and inpainting an appropriate reconstruction of prominent image structures such as edges and corners is of importance.

Total variation (TV) based regularization approaches of first and higher order (see e.g.[6,27]) have proven to be suitable with this respect. In particular those methods, which locally adapt to image structures in the data have shown a high potential for providing good reconstruction results [1-5,9-22,25,26,28-30]. We distinguish between methods which locally adapt the regularization strength ('weighted TV') [5,11-13,16,25,26,29-30] and methods which introduce an anisotropic, i.e. directionally dependent penalization of the image gradient (or of higher order derivatives) [1-3,10,15,17-22,28]. We refer to the latter as 'anisotropic TV' methods. Moreover, there exist methods which locally change from TV to a quadratic regularization of the image gradient, see e.g. [4].

Adaptive regularization methods require additional information which steers the adaptivity. The standard strategy is to pre-process the input data to determine specific image structures or to provide a guiding image for adaptivity. We refer to such models of adaptivity as data-driven.

However, these data only provide an estimate of the image structures of the undistorted image. Therefore, it is beneficial to propose adaptive models which are steered directly by the unknown image. We refer to this kind of adaptivity as solution-driven. Several approaches of this kind have been introduced in literature [1,10,15,17-22]. Below, we focus on a special kind of solution-driven adaptive regularization approach, which is stated in terms of a fixed point problem. Before discussing this approach, we first consider a more general model of adaptive regularization and introduce some notation.

Adaptive Total Variation Regularization

We consider the task of restoring an image u from some given input data f by means of a variational method. To this end, we consider the minimization task

minu F(u) = minu S(u) + R(u),

where S(u) is some data or fidelity term and R(u) is some regularization term. (Different to the standard notation, we assume the regularization strength, i.e. the factor coupling both terms, as implicitly included in R.) As mentioned above, adaptive regularization requires some parameters to locally steer the adaptivity. Typically these parameters depend on the input image f, a guiding image g or the unknown image u. To account for this dependency we introduce an additional argument v of R, i.e. R=R(u;v), where v represents an arbitrary image, based on which the adaptivity is determined.

We then consider the minimization problem

minu F(u) = minu S(u) + R(u;v).

(Note that all additional parameters such as a global regularization parameter are assumed to be fixed and are not explicitly listed as arguments.) In view of a well-posed optimization problem, we assume that R(.;v) for fixed v is convex, proper, weakly lower semi-continuous and that there exists constants c1,c2 independent from v such that

c1 TV(u) ≤ R(u;v) ≤ c2 TV(u).

Data-driven adaptivity then can be modeled by setting v=f.

Remark: In a similar manner, we can introduce adaptive second-order TV regularization.

Proposed Approach

When aiming at a solution-driven regularization approach, the straight-forward way would be to directly solve

minu S(u) + R(u;u)     (1)

However, we observe that such an approach in general would lead to a non-convex optimization problem [15]. Moreover, a numerical method to solve (1) would require the derivative of v ↦ R(u,v), which might be difficult to evaluate. We propose a different approach, which leads to a fixed point problem. To this end, we introduce the operator

T(v):=argminu S(u) + R(u;v).     (2)

We assume that the optimization problem in (2) is well-posed and has a unique solution. Consequently, T(v) is well defined. We then search for a fixed point u* of T:

u* = T(u*).

For such a fixed point, we find

u*=argminu S(u) + R(u;u*),

i.e. we ended up with a solution-driven adaptive regularization approach. We achieved the following theoretical results:

Continuous setting: In [18] we showed existence of a fixed point under sufficient conditions on R.
Discrete setting: In the discrete setting, our approach is equivalent to solving a quasi-variational inequality (QVI) [8,24].
We were able to show existence and uniqueness under sufficient conditions on R [19,21,22].


MSSIM index: 0.808 0.8080.820
MSSIM index: 0.766 0.783 0.841
MSSIM index: 0.945 0.946 0.973
input image
standard TV
anisotropic data-driven TV anisotropic solution-driven TV
Fig 1.: Solution driven anisotropic TV regularization for image denoising (first row), deblurring (second row) and inpainting (third row). We compare with standard TV and the data-driven variant. The parameters for each method were found by a hierarchical grid search maximizing the MSSIM index [31] to the undistorted image. The resulting MSSIM values are listed below each image. Solution-driven anisotropic TV outperforms both standard TV and data-driven anisotropic TV.

Fig.1 shows the results of a solution-driven anisotropic TV regularization applied for denoising, deblurring and inpainting. We compare to standard TV [27] and the data-driven adaptive variant. For a quantitative and qualitative comparison to additional state-of-the-art methods we refer to [18].


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[20] F. Lenzen, F. Becker and J. Lellmann, Adaptive Second-Order Total Variation, An Approach Aware of Slope Discontinuities, proceedings SSVM 2013, LNCS, vol. 7893, pp. 61-73, Springer, 2013   [pdf]
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last update: 24.5.2017