Benchmarking Denoising Algorithms With Real Photographs

Tobias Plotz, Stefan Roth; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2017, pp. 1586-1595


Lacking realistic ground truth data, image denoising techniques are traditionally evaluated on images corrupted by synthesized i.i.d. Gaussian noise. We aim to obviate this unrealistic setting by developing a methodology for benchmarking denoising techniques on real photographs. We capture pairs of images with different ISO values and appropriately adjusted exposure times, where the nearly noise-free low-ISO image serves as reference. To derive the ground truth, careful post-processing is needed. We correct spatial misalignment, cope with inaccuracies in the exposure parameters through a linear intensity transform based on a novel heteroscedastic Tobit regression model, and remove residual low-frequency bias that stems, e.g., from minor illumination changes. We then capture a novel benchmark dataset, the Darmstadt Noise Dataset (DND), with consumer cameras of differing sensor sizes. One interesting finding is that various recent techniques that perform well on synthetic noise are clearly outperformed by BM3D on photographs with real noise. Our benchmark delineates realistic evaluation scenarios that deviate strongly from those commonly used in the scientific literature.

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[pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
author = {Plotz, Tobias and Roth, Stefan},
title = {Benchmarking Denoising Algorithms With Real Photographs},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {July},
year = {2017}