Regularized Discrete Optimal Transport
Sira Ferradans, Nicolas Papadakis, Gabriel Peyré, Jean-Francois Aujol.
This article introduces a generalization of the discrete optimal transport, with applications to color image manipulations. This new formulation includes a relaxation of the mass conservation constraint and a regularization term. These two features are crucial for image processing tasks, which necessitate to take into account families of multimodal histograms, with large mass variation across modes. The corresponding relaxed and regularized transportation problem is the solution of a convex optimization problem. Depending on the regularization used, this minimization can be solved using standard linear programming methods or first order proximal splitting schemes. The resulting transportation plan can be used as a color transfer map, which is robust to mass variation across images color palettes. Furthermore, the regularization of the transport plan helps to remove colorization artifacts due to noise amplification.
We also extend this framework to the computation of barycenters of distributions. The barycenter is the solution of an optimization problem, which is separately convex with respect to the barycenter and the transportation plans, but not jointly convex. A block coordinate descent scheme converges to a stationary point of the energy. We show that the resulting algorithm can be used for color normalization across several images. The relaxed and regularized barycenter defines a common color palette for those images. Applying color transfer toward this average palette performs a color normalization of the input images.