Three Gaps for Quantisation in Learned Image Compression
Learned lossy image compression has demonstrated impressive progress via end-to-end neural network training. However, this end-to-end training belies the fact that lossy compression is inherently not differentiable, due to the necessity of quantisation. To overcome this difficulty in training, researchers have used various approximations to the quantisation step. However, little work has studied the mechanism of quantisation approximation itself. We address this issue, identifying three gaps arising in the quantisation approximation problem. These gaps are visualised, and show the effect of applying different quantisation approximation methods. Following this analysis, we propose a Soft-STE quantisation approximation method, which closes these gaps and demonstrates better performance than other quantisation approaches on the Kodak dataset.