Random Walk Graph Laplacian-Based Smoothness Prior for Soft Decoding of JPEG Images
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Given the prevalence of joint photographic experts group (JPEG) compressed images, optimizing image reconstruction from the compressed format remains an important problem. Instead of simply reconstructing a pixel block from the centers of indexed discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficient quantization bins (hard decoding), soft decoding reconstructs a block by selecting appropriate coefficient values within the indexed bins with the help of signal priors. The challenge thus lies in how to define suitable priors and apply them effectively. In this paper, we combine three image priors-Laplacian prior for DCT coefficients, sparsity prior, and graph-signal smoothness prior for image patches-to construct an efficient JPEG soft decoding algorithm. Specifically, we first use the Laplacian prior to compute a minimum mean square error initial solution for each code block. Next, we show that while the sparsity prior can reduce block artifacts, limiting the size of the overcomplete dictionary (to lower computation) would lead to poor recovery of high DCT frequencies. To alleviate this problem, we design a new graph-signal smoothness prior (desired signal has mainly low graph frequencies) based on the left eigenvectors of the random walk graph Laplacian matrix (LERaG). Compared with the previous graph-signal smoothness priors, LERaG has desirable image filtering properties with low computation overhead. We demonstrate how LERaG can facilitate recovery of high DCT frequencies of a piecewise smooth signal via an interpretation of low graph frequency components as relaxed solutions to normalized cut in spectral clustering. Finally, we construct a soft decoding algorithm using the three signal priors with appropriate prior weights. Experimental results show that our proposal outperforms the state-of-the-art soft decoding algorithms in both objective and subjective evaluations noticeably.
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