Oral Session 2

NIPS Award Session

On Decomposing the Proximal Map – The proximal map is the key step in gradient-type algorithms, which have become prevalent in large-scale high-dimensional problems. For simple functions this proximal map is available in closed-form while for more complicated functions it can become highly nontrivial. Motivated by the need of combining regularizers to simultaneously induce different types of structures, this paper initiates a systematic investigation of when the proximal map of a sum of functions decomposes into the composition of the proximal maps of the individual summands. We not only unify a few known results scattered in the literature but also discover several new decompositions obtained almost effortlessly from our theory.

Non-Uniform Camera Shake Removal Using a Spatially-Adaptive Sparse Penalty – Typical blur from camera shake often deviates from the standard uniform convolutional assumption, in part because of problematic rotations which create greater blurring away from some unknown center point. Consequently, successful blind deconvolution for removing shake artifacts requires the estimation of a spatially-varying or non-uniform blur operator. Using ideas from Bayesian inference and convex analysis, this paper derives a non-uniform blind deblurring algorithm with several desirable, yet previously-unexplored attributes. The underlying objective function includes a spatially-adaptive penalty that couples the latent sharp image, non-uniform blur operator, and noise level together. This coupling allows the penalty to automatically adjust its shape based on the estimated degree of local blur and image structure such that regions with large blur or few prominent edges are discounted. Remaining regions with modest blur and revealing edges therefore dominate the overall estimation process without explicitly incorporating structure-selection heuristics. The algorithm can be implemented using an optimization strategy that is virtually parameter free and simpler than existing methods. Detailed theoretical analysis and empirical validation on real images serve to validate the proposed method.

Yao-Liang Yu and Haichao Zhang
University of Alberta, Duke University