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From Posterior Sampling to Meaningful Diversity in Image Restoration

Noa Cohen · Hila Manor · Yuval Bahat · Tomer Michaeli

Halle B #77
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Image restoration problems are typically ill-posed in the sense that each degraded image can be restored in infinitely many valid ways. To accommodate this, many works generate a diverse set of outputs by attempting to randomly sample from the posterior distribution of natural images given the degraded input. Here we argue that this strategy is commonly of limited practical value because of the heavy tail of the posterior distribution. Consider for example inpainting a missing region of the sky in an image. Since there is a high probability that the missing region contains no object but clouds, any set of samples from the posterior would be entirely dominated by (practically identical) completions of sky. However, arguably, presenting users with only one clear sky completion, along with several alternative solutions such as airships, birds, and balloons, would better outline the set of possibilities. In this paper, we initiate the study of meaningfully diverse image restoration. We explore several post-processing approaches that can be combined with any diverse image restoration method to yield semantically meaningful diversity. Moreover, we propose a practical approach for allowing diffusion based image restoration methods to generate meaningfully diverse outputs, while incurring only negligent computational overhead. We conduct extensive user studies to analyze the proposed techniques, and find the strategy of reducing similarity between outputs to be significantly favorable over posterior sampling. Code and examples are available on the project's webpage.

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