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The Sliding Frank-Wolfe Algorithm and Its Application to Super-Resolution Microscopy

Q. Denoyelle, V. Duval, G. Peyré, E. Soubies

Inverse Problems, in press.

Please do not bookmark the "In Press" papers as content and presentation may differ from the published version.


This paper showcases the theoretical and numerical performance of the Sliding Frank-Wolfe, which is a novel optimization algorithm to solve the BLASSO sparse spikes super-resolution problem. The BLASSO is a continuous (i.e. off-the-grid or grid-less) counterpart to the well-known ℓ1 sparse regularisation method (also known as LASSO or Basis Pursuit). Our algorithm is a variation on the classical Frank-Wolfe (also known as conditional gradient) which follows a recent trend of interleaving convex optimization updates (corresponding to adding new spikes) with non-convex optimization steps (corresponding to moving the spikes). Our main theoretical result is that this algorithm terminates in a finite number of steps under a mild non-degeneracy hypothesis. We then target applications of this method to several instances of single molecule fluorescence imaging modalities, among which certain approaches rely heavily on the inversion of a Laplace transform. Our second theoretical contribution is the proof of the exact support recovery property of the BLASSO to invert the 1-D Laplace transform in the case of positive spikes. On the numerical side, we conclude this paper with an extensive study of the practical performance of the Sliding Frank-Wolfe on different instantiations of single molecule fluorescence imaging, including convolutive and non-convolutive (Laplace-like) operators. This shows the versatility and superiority of this method with respect to alternative sparse recovery technics.

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