HybrUR: A Hybrid Physical-Neural Solution for Unsupervised Underwater Image Restoration

by   Shuaizheng Yan, et al.

Robust vision restoration for an underwater image remains a challenging problem. For the lack of aligned underwater-terrestrial image pairs, the unsupervised method is more suited to this task. However, the pure data-driven unsupervised method usually has difficulty in achieving realistic color correction for lack of optical constraint. In this paper, we propose a data- and physics-driven unsupervised architecture that learns underwater vision restoration from unpaired underwater-terrestrial images. For sufficient domain transformation and detail preservation, the underwater degeneration needs to be explicitly constructed based on the optically unambiguous physics law. Thus, we employ the Jaffe-McGlamery degradation theory to design the generation models, and use neural networks to describe the process of underwater degradation. Furthermore, to overcome the problem of invalid gradient when optimizing the hybrid physical-neural model, we fully investigate the intrinsic correlation between the scene depth and the degradation factors for the backscattering estimation, to improve the restoration performance through physical constraints. Our experimental results show that the proposed method is able to perform high-quality restoration for unconstrained underwater images without any supervision. On multiple benchmarks, we outperform several state-of-the-art supervised and unsupervised approaches. We also demonstrate that our methods yield encouraging results on real-world applications.


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