Real-World Image Super-Resolution as Multi-Task Learning

Wenlong Zhang, Xiaohui Li, Guangyuan Shi, Xiangyu Chen, Yu Qiao, Xiao-Ming Wu, Chao Dong

In this paper, we take a new look at real-world image super-resolution (real-SR) from a multi-task learning perspective. We demonstrate that the conventional formulation of real-SR can be viewed as solving multiple distinct degradation tasks using a single shared model. This poses a challenge known as task competition or task conflict in multi-task learning, where certain tasks dominate the learning process, resulting in poor performance on other tasks. This problem is exacerbated in the case of real-SR, due to the involvement of numerous degradation tasks. To address the issue of task competition in real-SR, we propose a task grouping approach. Our approach efficiently identifies the degradation tasks where a real-SR model falls short and groups these unsatisfactory tasks into multiple task groups for further training. By grouping similar tasks together, our approach mitigates task competition and facilitates effective knowledge transfer. Extensive experiments demonstrate our method achieves significantly enhanced performance across a wide range of degradation scenarios.