Abstract: In recent years, endomicroscopy imaging has become increasingly used for diagnostic purposes. It can provide intraoperative aids for real-time tissue characterization and can help to perform visual investigations aimed to discover epithelial cancers. However, accurate diagnosis and correct treatments are partially hampered by the low numbers of informative pixels generated by these devices. In the last decades, progress has been made to improve the hardware acquisition and the related image reconstruction in this domain. Nonetheless, due to the imaging environment, and the associated physical constraints, images with the desired resolution are still difficult to produce. Post-processing techniques, such as Super Resolution (SR), are an alternative solution to increase the quality of these images. SR techniques are often supervised, requiring aligned pairs of low-resolution (LR) and high-resolution (HR) patches to train a model. However, in some domains, the lack of HR images hinders the generation of these pairs and makes supervised training unsuitable. For this reason, we propose an unsupervised SR framework based on an adversarial deep neural network with a physically-inspired cycle consistency, designed to impose some acquisition properties on the super-resolved images. Our framework can exploit HR images, regardless of the domain where they are coming from, to transfer the super-resolution to the initial LR images. This property can be particularly useful in all situations where pairs of LR/HR are not available during the training. Our quantitative analysis, validated using a database of 238 endomicroscopy video sequences, shows the ability of the pipeline to produce convincing super-resolved images. A Mean Opinion Score (MOS) study also confirms this quantitative image quality assessment.
Keywords: Unsupervised Super-Resolution, Adversarial Training, Cycle consistency, Endomicroscopy
Author Affiliation: University College London