Much like what happening in compressive sensing, where sparse reconstruction solvers are being learned as if they were deep neural networks (LISTA,....), the more general field of inverse problems (with a larger variety of regularizers) is also falling in this Great Convergence vortex (see previous here or here). Today we have the following two approaches:

An inner-loop free solution to inverse problems using deep neural networks by Qi Wei, Kai Fan, Lawrence Carin, Katherine A. Heller

We propose a new method that uses deep learning techniques to accelerate the popular alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) solution for inverse problems. The ADMM updates consist of a proximity operator, a least squares regression that includes a big matrix inversion, and an explicit solution for updating the dual variables. Typically, inner loops are required to solve the first two sub-minimization problems due to the intractability of the prior and the matrix inversion. To avoid such drawbacks or limitations, we propose an inner-loop free update rule with two pre-trained deep convolutional architectures. More specifically, we learn a conditional denoising auto-encoder which imposes an implicit data-dependent prior/regularization on ground-truth in the first sub-minimization problem. This design follows an empirical Bayesian strategy, leading to so-called amortized inference. For matrix inversion in the second sub-problem, we learn a convolutional neural network to approximate the matrix inversion, i.e., the inverse mapping is learned by feeding the input through the learned forward network. Note that training this neural network does not require ground-truth or measurements, i.e., it is data-independent. Extensive experiments on both synthetic data and real datasets demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed method compared with the conventional ADMM solution using inner loops for solving inverse problems.

Much of the recent research on solving iterative inference problems focuses on moving away from hand-chosen inference algorithms and towards learned inference. In the latter, the inference process is unrolled in time and interpreted as a recurrent neural network (RNN) which allows for joint learning of model and inference parameters with back-propagation through time. In this framework, the RNN architecture is directly derived from a hand-chosen inference algorithm, effectively limiting its capabilities. We propose a learning framework, called Recurrent Inference Machines (RIM), in which we turn algorithm construction the other way round: Given data and a task, train an RNN to learn an inference algorithm. Because RNNs are Turing complete [1, 2] they are capable to implement any inference algorithm. The framework allows for an abstraction which removes the need for domain knowledge. We demonstrate in several image restoration experiments that this abstraction is effective, allowing us to achieve state-of-the-art performance on image denoising and super-resolution tasks and superior across-task generalization.

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