Renliang Gu and Aleksandar Dogandžić

\(
\newcommand{\b}[1]{{\boldsymbol{#1}}}
\newcommand{\bm}[1]{{\boldsymbol{#1}}}
\newcommand{\cI}{\mathcal{I}}
\newcommand{\dif}{\rm d}
\newcommand{\balpha}{\b{\alpha}}
\newcommand{\bcI}{\b{\mathcal{I}}}
\)

We propose a method for sparse image reconstruction from polychromatic computed tomography (CT) measurements under the blind scenario where the material of the inspected object and the incident-energy spectrum are unknown. Our framework is general and applies for both the Poisson and lognormal noise assumption.

This is the first **reconstruction** model that expresses noiseless CT
measurements in a form of Laplace transform. This new representation may
open a new gate to handle the beam hardening artifacts and lead to a new
framework for signal reconstruction and material characterization from
polychromatic measurements.

In many scenarios, knowing the incident spectrum and the inspected material
may be challenging. Our method, requiring *no more* information than the
conventional FBP method, simplifies the beam hardening correction and
extends the usage to the scenarios where X-ray spectrum or material to
inspect is unknown.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant CCF-1421480.

Estimated \(\balpha\) and \(-\ln\bigl(\b{b}^\text{L}(\cdot)\bcI\bigr)\) from 360 fanbeam real X-ray CT projections.

Real X-ray CT data: courtesy of Dr. Joseph N. Gray, Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, Iowa State University.

According to the Lambert-Beer's law, the fraction \(\dif \cI / \cI\) of plane wave intensity lost in traversing an infinitesimal thickness \(\dif\ell\) at Cartesian coordinates \((x,y)\) is proportional to \(\dif\ell\), so that

\[ \begin{equation} \frac{\dif \cI}{\cI} = - \kappa(\varepsilon) \alpha(x,y) \dif\ell. \label{eq:beerLaw1} \end{equation} \]

where

\(\kappa(\varepsilon)\) is the

*mass attenuation coefficient*of the material (in cm\(^2/\)g), which depends only on the photon energy \(\varepsilon\),\(\alpha(x,y)\) is the density map of the inspected object (in \(\text{g}/\text{cm}^3\)).

Therefore, a monochromatic X-ray signal at photon energy \(\varepsilon\)
attenuates *exponentially* as it penetrates an object composed of a single
material:

\[ \begin{equation} \cI^{\text{out}} = \cI^{\text{in}} \exp\Bigl[ - \kappa(\varepsilon) \int_\ell \alpha(x,y) \dif\ell\Bigr]. \label{eq:monotoneModel} \end{equation} \]

where \(\cI^{\text{out}}\) and \(\cI^{\text{in}}\) are the emergent and incident X-ray signal energies, respectively.

However, X-rays generated by vacuum tubes are not monochromatic. To describe the polychromatic X-ray source, assume that its incident intensity \(\cI^{\text{in}}\) spreads along photon energy \(\varepsilon\) following the density \(\iota(\varepsilon)\), i.e.,

\[ \begin{equation} \label{eq:constanttotalenergy} \int \iota(\varepsilon) \dif\varepsilon = \cI^{\text{in}}. \end{equation} \]

Then, the noiseless measurement collected by an energy integral detector upon traversing a straight line \(\ell=\ell(x,y)\) is

\[ \begin{equation} \cI^{\text{out}}=\int \iota(\varepsilon) \, \exp\Big[- \kappa(\varepsilon) \, \int_\ell \alpha(x,y) \, \dif\ell\Big] \, \dif\varepsilon. \label{eq:polyModel0} \end{equation} \]

Both incident spectrum \(\iota(\varepsilon)\) and mass attenuation function \(\kappa(\varepsilon)\) of the object are *unknown*.
Estimate the density map \(\alpha(x,y)\).
Based on the fact that mass attenuation \(\kappa(\varepsilon)\) and incident spectrum density \(\iota(\varepsilon)\) are both functions of \(\varepsilon\), our write the model as integrals of \(\kappa\) rather than \(\varepsilon\); estimate \(\iota(\varepsilon(\kappa)) |\varepsilon'(\kappa)|\) rather than \(\iota(\varepsilon)\) and \(\kappa(\varepsilon)\).
For invertible \(\kappa(\varepsilon)\), define its inverse as \(\varepsilon(\kappa)\) and |

\[ \begin{align} \mathcal{I}^{\mathrm{in}} &= \int \iota(\varepsilon(\kappa)) |\varepsilon’(\kappa)| d\kappa,\\ \mathcal{I}^{\mathrm{out}} &= \int \iota(\varepsilon(\kappa)) |\varepsilon’(\kappa)| \exp\Bigl[ -\kappa \int_\ell \alpha(x,y) d\ell\Bigr] d\kappa \end{align} \]

Clone or press “Download ZIP” button in the right panel of imgRecSrc's GitHub page.

Matlab command to start the reconstruction:

opt.E=20; opt.maxItr=2e3; opt.thresh=1e-6; opt.u=1e-5; output=beamhardenSpline(Phi,Phit,Psi,Psit,y,initSig,opt);

where `Phi` and `Phit` are the function handles that implement the forward
and backward 2D X-ray CT projections, `Psi` and `Psit` are the function
handles for inverse discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and DWT, and `initSig`
is the initialization for the iterative algorithm.
`y=-ln(Imea(:)/max(Imea(:)))` where `Imea` is a matrix of size \(N\times p\)
for the 2D X-ray CT measurements. Here, \(N\) is the number of sampling
points for each projection and \(p\) is the number of projections.
`initSig` is usually set to the FBP reconstruction from `y`.

The `output` will be a structure bearing everything that is needed; see
the `beamhardenSpline` source code for detail.

The default regularization method, `opt.proximal='wvltADMM'`, we use here
is the nonnegativity and the \(\ell_1\)-norm of the wavelet coefficients of
the image. However, setting `opt.proximal` to `'nonneg'` switches the
algorithm to use only the nonnegativity constraints only. Other options
such as `opt.proximal='tviso'` and `opt.proximal='tvl1'` employs the
nonnegativity and total-variation (TV) regularization.

Note that in the cases other than `opt.proximal='wvltADMM'`, `Psi` and
`Psit` can be set to `[]`. For `opt.proximal='nonneg'`, the algorithm
is basically a maximum likelihood algorithm. So, setting smaller number of
iterations limit, e.g., 500, gives fast and decent solution.

R. Gu and A. Dogandžić, “Blind X-ray CT Image Reconstruction from Polychromatic Poisson Measurements,”

*IEEE Trans. Comput. Imag.*, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 150–165, 2016. [BibTex] [DOI] [PDF] [Poster] [Presentation Video]

@STRING{IEEE_J_CI = "{IEEE} Trans. Comput. Imag."} @article{gd16beamharden, Author = {Renliang Gu and Aleksandar Dogand\v{z}i\'c}, Journal = IEEE_J_CI, Title = {Blind {X}-ray {CT} Image Reconstruction from Polychromatic {P}oisson Measurements}, volume={2}, number={2}, pages={150-165}, doi={10.1109/tci.2016.2523431}, Year = 2016 }

R. Gu and A. Dogandžić, (Sep. 2015). Polychromatic X-ray CT image reconstruction and mass-attenuation spectrum estimation. arXiv: 1509.02193 [stat.ME]. [slides]

R. Gu and A. Dogandžić, “Polychromatic sparse image reconstruction and mass attenuation spectrum estimation via B-spline basis function expansion,” in

*Rev. Prog. Quant. Nondestr. Eval.*, D. E. Chimenti and L. J. Bond, Eds., ser. AIP Conf. Proc. Vol. 34 1650, Melville, NY, 2015, pp. 1707–1716. (This paper is on the**lognormal**measurement model with \(\ell_1\)-norm regularizations) [BibTex] [DOI] [PDF]

@string{qnde = { {Rev. Prog. Quant. Nondestr. Eval.} } } @inproceedings{gdqnde14, Address = {Melville, {NY}}, Author = {Gu, Renliang and Dogand\v{z}i\'c, Aleksandar}, Booktitle = QNDE, Series = {AIP Conf. Proc.}, Editor = {Dale E. Chimenti and Leonard J. Bond}, Title = {Polychromatic Sparse Image Reconstruction and Mass Attenuation Spectrum Estimation via {B}-Spline Basis Function Expansion}, volume={34 1650}, Year = {2015}, pages={1707-1716} }

R. Gu and A. Dogandžić, “Beam hardening correction via mass attenuation discretization,” in

*Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Acoust., Speech, Signal Process.*, Vancouver, Canada, May 2013, pp. 1085–1089. [BibTeX] [DOI] [PDF] [poster]

@string{icassp = { {Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Acoust., Speech, Signal Process.} } } @conference{GuDogandzic2013, title ={Beam Hardening Correction Via Mass Attenuation Discretization}, booktitle = ICASSP, author = {Gu, Renliang and Dogand\v{z}i\'c, Aleksandar}, Address = {Vancouver, Canada}, Month = may, pages={1085-1089}, year = 2013 }