Keywords: Algorithm Unrolling/Unfolding, Blind Source Separation, Sparse Representations, Multi-Convex Optimization, Hyper-parameter Choice
Abstract: Sparse Blind Source Separation (BSS) has become a well established tool for a wide range of applications – for instance, in astrophysics and remote sensing. Classical sparse BSS methods, such as the Proximal Alternating Linearized Minimization (PALM) algorithm, nevertheless often suffer from a difficult hyper-parameter choice, which undermines their results. To bypass this pitfall, we propose in this work to build on the thriving field of algorithm unfolding/unrolling. Unrolling PALM enables to leverage the data-driven knowledge stemming from realistic simulations or ground-truth data by learning both PALM hyper-parameters and variables. In contrast to most existing unrolled algorithms, which assume a fixed known dictionary during the training and testing phases, this article further emphasizes on the ability to deal with variable mixing matrices (a.k.a. dictionaries). The proposed Learned PALM (LPALM) algorithm thus enables to perform semi-blind source separation, which is key to increase the generalization of the learnt model in real-world applications. We illustrate the relevance of LPALM in astrophysical multispectral imaging: the algorithm not only needs up to $10^4−10^5$ times less iterations than PALM, but also improves the separation quality, while avoiding the cumbersome hyper-parameter and initialization choice of PALM. We further show that LPALM outperforms other unrolled source separation methods in the semi-blind setting.