On the Convergence Rate of Projected Gradient Descent for a Back-Projection based Objective

Tom Tirer, Raja Giryes

Ill-posed linear inverse problems appear in many fields of imaging science and engineering, and are typically addressed by solving optimization problems, which are composed of fidelity and prior terms or constraints. Traditionally, the research has been focused on different prior models, while the least squares (LS) objective has been the common choice for the fidelity term. However, recently a few works have considered a back-projection (BP) based fidelity term as an alternative to the LS, and demonstrated excellent reconstruction results for popular inverse problems. These prior works have also empirically shown that using the BP term, rather than the LS term, requires fewer iterations of plain and accelerated proximal gradient algorithms. In the current paper, we examine the convergence rate of the BP objective for the projected gradient descent (PGD) algorithm and identify an inherent source for its faster convergence compared to the LS objective. Numerical experiments with both $\ell_1$-norm and GAN-based priors corroborate our theoretical results for PGD. We also draw the connection to the observed behavior for proximal methods.

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