Optimally Controllable Perceptual Lossy Compression
Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 162:24911-24928, 2022.
Recent studies in lossy compression show that distortion and perceptual quality are at odds with each other, which put forward the tradeoff between distortion and perception (D-P). Intuitively, to attain different perceptual quality, different decoders have to be trained. In this paper, we present a nontrivial finding that only two decoders are sufficient for optimally achieving arbitrary (an infinite number of different) D-P tradeoff. We prove that arbitrary points of the D-P tradeoff bound can be achieved by a simple linear interpolation between the outputs of a minimum MSE decoder and a specifically constructed perfect perceptual decoder. Meanwhile, the perceptual quality (in terms of the squared Wasserstein-2 distance metric) can be quantitatively controlled by the interpolation factor. Furthermore, to construct a perfect perceptual decoder, we propose two theoretically optimal training frameworks. The new frameworks are different from the distortion-plus-adversarial loss based heuristic framework widely used in existing methods, which are not only theoretically optimal but also can yield state-of-the-art performance in practical perceptual decoding. Finally, we validate our theoretical finding and demonstrate the superiority of our frameworks via experiments. Code is available at: https://github.com/ZeyuYan/ControllablePerceptual-Compression