Sparse Code Shrinkage: Denoising by Nonlinear Maximum Likelihood Estimation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 11 (NIPS 1998)

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Aapo Hyvärinen, Patrik Hoyer, Erkki Oja


Sparse coding is a method for finding a representation of data in which each of the components of the representation is only rarely significantly active. Such a representation is closely related to re(cid:173) dundancy reduction and independent component analysis, and has some neurophysiological plausibility. In this paper, we show how sparse coding can be used for denoising. Using maximum likelihood estimation of nongaussian variables corrupted by gaussian noise, we show how to apply a shrinkage nonlinearity on the components of sparse coding so as to reduce noise. Furthermore, we show how to choose the optimal sparse coding basis for denoising. Our method is closely related to the method of wavelet shrinkage, but has the important benefit over wavelet methods that both the features and the shrinkage parameters are estimated directly from the data.