Accurate blur models vs. image priors in single image super-resolution

Netalee Efrat, Daniel Glasner, Alexander Apartsin, Boaz Nadler, Anat Levin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, single image Super-Resolution (SR) research has focused on developing sophisticated image priors, leading to significant advances. Estimating and incorporating the blur model, that relates the high-res and low-res images, has received much less attention, however. In particular, the reconstruction constraint, namely that the blurred and down sampled high-res output should approximately equal the low-res input image, has been either ignored or applied with default fixed blur models. In this work, we examine the relative importance of the image prior and the reconstruction constraint. First, we show that an accurate reconstruction constraint combined with a simple gradient regularization achieves SR results almost as good as those of state-of-the-art algorithms with sophisticated image priors. Second, we study both empirically and theoretically the sensitivity of SR algorithms to the blur model assumed in the reconstruction constraint. We find that an accurate blur model is more important than a sophisticated image prior. Finally, using real camera data, we demonstrate that the default blur models of various SR algorithms may differ from the camera blur, typically leading to over-smoothed results. Our findings highlight the importance of accurately estimating camera blur in reconstructing raw lowers images acquired by an actual camera.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2013 IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781479928392
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 14th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2013 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20138 Dec 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision


Conference2013 14th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2013
CitySydney, NSW


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