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Is Image Super-resolution Helpful for Other Vision Tasks?

D. Dai and Y. Wang and Y. Chen and L. Van Gool
IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision
February 2016


Despite the great advances made in the field of image super-resolution (ISR) during the last years, the performance has merely been evaluated perceptually. Thus, it is still unclear whether ISR is helpful for other vision tasks. In this paper, we present the first comprehensive study and analysis of the usefulness of ISR for other vision applications. In particular, six ISR methods are evaluated on four popular vision tasks, namely edge detection, semantic image segmentation, digit recognition, and scene recognition. We show that applying ISR to input images of other vision systems does improve their performance when the input images are of low-resolution. We also study the correlation between four standard perceptual evaluation criteria (namely PSNR, SSIM, IFC, and NQM) and the usefulness of ISR to the vision tasks. Experiments show that they correlate well with each other in general, but perceptual criteria are still not accurate enough to be used as full proxies for the usefulness. We hope this work will inspire the community to evaluate ISR methods also in real vision applications, and to adopt ISR as a pre-processing step of other vision tasks if the resolution of their input images is low.

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  author = { D. Dai and Y. Wang and Y. Chen and L. Van Gool},
  title = {Is Image Super-resolution Helpful for Other Vision Tasks?},
  booktitle = {IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision},
  year = {2016},
  month = {February},
  keywords = {}