IRNeXt: Rethinking Convolutional Network Design for Image Restoration
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 202:6545-6564, 2023.
We present IRNeXt, a simple yet effective convolutional network architecture for image restoration. Recently, Transformer models have dominated the field of image restoration due to the powerful ability of modeling long-range pixels interactions. In this paper, we excavate the potential of the convolutional neural network (CNN) and show that our CNN-based model can receive comparable or better performance than Transformer models with low computation overhead on several image restoration tasks. By re-examining the characteristics possessed by advanced image restoration algorithms, we discover several key factors leading to the performance improvement of restoration models. This motivates us to develop a novel network for image restoration based on cheap convolution operators. Comprehensive experiments demonstrate that IRNeXt delivers state-of-the-art performance among numerous datasets on a range of image restoration tasks with low computational complexity, including image dehazing, single-image defocus/motion deblurring, image deraining, and image desnowing. https://github.com/c-yn/IRNeXt.