25 February 2021
We are pleased to announce a new joint venture between UCL and Inria, one of the leading French research institutes in computer science and applied mathematics. Inria have launched ‘The Inria London Programme’, an initiative to establish a presence in the UK.
Recently, diffusion models have been used to solve various inverse problems in an unsupervised manner with appropriate modifications to the sampling process. However, the current solvers, which recursively apply a reverse diffusion step followed by a projection-based measurement consistency step, often produce sub- optimal results. By studying the generative sampling path, here we show that current solvers throw the sample path off the data manifold, and hence the error accumulates. To address this, we propose an additional correction term inspired by the manifold constraint, which can be used synergistically with the previous solvers to make the iterations close to the manifold. The proposed manifold constraint is straightforward to implement within a few lines of code, yet boosts the performance by a surprisingly large margin. With extensive experiments, we show that our method is superior to the previous methods both theoretically and empirically, producing promising results in many applications such as image inpainting, colorization, and sparse-view computed tomography. Then, we extend diffusion solvers to efficiently handle general noisy (non)linear inverse problems via approximation of the posterior sampling. Interestingly, the resulting posterior sampling scheme is a blended version of diffusion sampling with the manifold constrained gradient without a strict measurement consistency projection step, yielding a more desirable generative path in noisy settings compared to the previous studies. Our method demonstrates that diffusion models can incorporate various measurement noise statistics such as Gaussian and Poisson, and also efficiently handle noisy nonlinear inverse problems such as Fourier phase retrieval and non-uniform deblurring.