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  1. In recent years, large convolutional neural networks have been widely used as tools for image deblurring, because of their ability in restoring images very precisely. It is well known that image deblurring is mathematically modeled as an ill-posed inverse problem and its solution is difficult to approximate when noise affects the data. Really, one limitation of neural networks for deblurring is their sensitivity to noise and other perturbations, which can lead to instability and produce poor reconstructions. In addition, networks do not necessarily take into account the numerical formulation of the underlying imaging problem when trained end-to-end. In this paper, we propose some strategies to improve stability without losing too much accuracy to deblur images with deep-learning-based methods. First, we suggest a very small neural architecture, which reduces the execution time for training, satisfying a green AI need, and does not extremely amplify noise in the computed image. Second, we introduce a unified framework where a pre-processing step balances the lack of stability of the following neural-network-based step. Two different pre-processors are presented. The former implements a strong parameter-free denoiser, and the latter is a variational-model-based regularized formulation of the latent imaging problem. This framework is also formally characterized by mathematical analysis. Numerical experiments are performed to verify the accuracy and stability of the proposed approaches for image deblurring when unknown or not-quantified noise is present; the results confirm that they improve the network stability with respect to noise. In particular, the model-based framework represents the most reliable trade-off between visual precision and robustness. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are limited in their propagation operators. In many cases, these operators often contain non-negative elements only and are shared across channels, limiting the expressiveness of GNNs. Moreover, some GNNs suffer from over-smoothing, limiting their depth. On the other hand, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) can learn diverse propagation filters, and phenomena like over-smoothing are typically not apparent in CNNs. In this paper, we bridge these gaps by incorporating trainable channel-wise weighting factors ω to learn and mix multiple smoothing and sharpening propagation operators at each layer. Our generic method is called ωGNN, and is easy to implement. We study two variants: ωGCN and ωGAT. For ωGCN, we theoretically analyze its behavior and the impact of ω on the obtained node features. Our experiments confirm these findings, demonstrating and explaining how both variants do not over-smooth. Additionally, we experiment with 15 real-world datasets on node- and graph-classification tasks, where our ωGCN and ωGAT perform on par with state-of-the-art methods. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. Cussens, James ; Zhang, Kun (Ed.)
    Nonlinear monotone transformations are used extensively in normalizing flows to construct invertible triangular mappings from simple distributions to complex ones. In existing literature, monotonicity is usually enforced by restricting function classes or model parameters and the inverse transformation is often approximated by root-finding algorithms as a closed-form inverse is unavailable. In this paper, we introduce a new integral-based approach termed: Atomic Unrestricted Time Machine (AUTM), equipped with unrestricted integrands and easy-to-compute explicit inverse. AUTM offers a versatile and efficient way to the design of normalizing flows with explicit inverse and unrestricted function classes or parameters. Theoretically, we present a constructive proof that AUTM is universal: all monotonic normalizing flows can be viewed as limits of AUTM flows. We provide a concrete example to show how to approximate any given monotonic normalizing flow using AUTM flows with guaranteed convergence. The result implies that AUTM can be used to transform an existing flow into a new one equipped with explicit inverse and unrestricted parameters. The performance of the new approach is evaluated on high dimensional density estimation, variational inference and image generation. Experiments demonstrate superior speed and memory efficiency of AUTM. 
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