Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Fangzhou Luo, Xiaolin Wu, Yanhui Guo
Almost every single image restoration problem has a closely related parameter, such as the scale factor in super-resolution, the noise level in image denoising, and the quality factor in JPEG deblocking. Although recent studies on image restoration problems have achieved great success due to the development of deep neural networks, they handle the parameter involved in an unsophisticated way. Most previous researchers either treat problems with different parameter levels as independent tasks, and train a specific model for each parameter level; or simply ignore the parameter, and train a single model for all parameter levels. The two popular approaches have their own shortcomings. The former is inefficient in computing and the latter is ineffective in performance. In this work, we propose a novel system called functional neural network (FuncNet) to solve a parametric image restoration problem with a single model. Unlike a plain neural network, the smallest conceptual element of our FuncNet is no longer a floating-point variable, but a function of the parameter of the problem. This feature makes it both efficient and effective for a parametric problem. We apply FuncNet to super-resolution, image denoising, and JPEG deblocking. The experimental results show the superiority of our FuncNet on all three parametric image restoration tasks over the state of the arts.