SRFlow: Learning the Super-Resolution Space with Normalizing Flow

Abstract

Super-resolution is an ill-posed problem, since it allows for multiple predictions for a given low-resolution image. This fundamental fact is largely ignored by state-of-the-art deep learning based approaches. These methods instead train a deterministic mapping using combinations of reconstruction and adversarial losses. In this work, we therefore propose SRFlow, a normalizing flow based super-resolution method capable of learning the conditional distribution of the output given the low-resolution input. Our model is trained in a principled manner using a single loss, namely the negative log-likelihood. SRFlow therefore directly accounts for the ill-posed nature of the problem, and learns to predict diverse photo-realistic high-resolution images. Moreover, we utilize the strong image posterior learned by SRFlow to design flexible image manipulation techniques, capable of enhancing super-resolved images by, e.g., transferring content from other images. We perform extensive experiments on faces, as well as on super-resolution in general. SRFlow outperforms state-of-the-art GAN-based approaches in terms of both PSNR and perceptual quality metrics, while allowing for diversity through the exploration of the space of super-resolved solutions.

Publication
In European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020
Andreas Lugmayr
Andreas Lugmayr
PhD Student, ETH Zurich
Martin Danelljan
Martin Danelljan
Researcher

Researcher in Computer Vision and Machine Learning at ETH Zurich

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