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Equivariant Plug-and-Play Image Reconstruction

Matthieu Terris · Thomas Moreau · Nelly Pustelnik · Juli├ín Tachella

Arch 4A-E Poster #102
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Fri 21 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT


Plug-and-play algorithms constitute a popular framework for solving inverse imaging problems that rely on the implicit definition of an image prior via a denoiser. These algorithms can leverage powerful pre-trained denoisers to solve a wide range of imaging tasks, circumventing the necessity to train models on a per-task basis. Unfortunately, plug-and-play methods often show unstable behaviors, hampering their promise of versatility and leading to suboptimal quality of reconstructed images. In this work, we show that enforcing equivariance to certain groups of transformations (rotations, reflections and/or translations) on the denoiser strongly improves the stability of the algorithm as well as its reconstruction quality. We provide a theoretical analysis that illustrates the role of equivariance on better performance and stability. We present a simple algorithm that enforces equivariance on any existing denoiser by simply applying a random transformation to the input of the denoiser and the inverse transformation to the output at each iteration of the algorithm. Experiments on multiple imaging modalities and denoising networks show that the equivariant plug-and-play algorithm improves both the reconstruction performance and the stability compared to their non-equivariant counterparts.

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