Real-World Single Image Super-Resolution: A Brief Review

Honggang Chen, Xiaohai He, Linbo Qing, Yuanyuan Wu, Chao Ren*, RAYMOND SHERIFF, Ce Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)


Single image super-resolution (SISR), which aims to reconstruct a high-resolution (HR) image from a low-resolution (LR) observation, has been an active research topic in the area of image processing in recent decades. Particularly, deep learning-based super-resolution (SR) approaches have drawn much attention and have greatly improved the reconstruction performance on synthetic data. However, recent studies show that simulation results on synthetic data usually overestimate the capacity to super-resolve real-world images. In this context, more and more researchers devote themselves to develop SR approaches for realistic images. This article aims to make a comprehensive review on real-world single image super-resolution (RSISR). More specifically, this review covers the critical publicly available datasets and assessment metrics
for RSISR, and four major categories of RSISR methods, namely the degradation modelingbased RSISR, image pairs-based RSISR, domain translation-based RSISR, and self-learningbased RSISR. Comparisons are also made among representative RSISR methods on benchmark datasets, in terms of both reconstruction quality and computational efficiency. Besides, we discuss challenges and promising research topics on RSISR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-145
Number of pages22
JournalInformation Fusion
Early online date13 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Assessment metrics
  • Datasets
  • Deep learning
  • Real-world image
  • Review
  • Super-resolution


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