Bootstrap-Optimised Regularised Image Reconstruction for Emission Tomography

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In emission tomography, iterative image reconstruction from noisy measured data usually results in noisy images, and so regularisation is often used to compensate for noise. However, in practice, an appropriate, automatic and precise specification of the strength of regularisation for image reconstruction from a given noisy measured dataset remains unresolved. Existing approaches are either empirical approximations with no guarantee of generalisation, or else are computationally intensive cross-validation methods requiring full reconstructions for a limited set of preselected regularisation strengths. In contrast, we propose a novel methodology embedded within iterative image reconstruction, using one or more bootstrapped replicates of the measured data for precise optimisation of the regularisation. The approach uses a conventional unregularised iterative update of a current image estimate from the noisy measured data, and then also uses the bootstrap replicate to obtain a bootstrap update of the current image estimate. The method then seeks the regularisation hyperparameters which, when applied to the bootstrap update of the image, lead to a best fit of the regularised bootstrap update to the conventional measured data update. This corresponds to estimating the degree of regularisation needed in order to map the noisy update to a model of the mean of an ensemble of noisy updates. For a given regularised objective function (e.g. penalised likelihood), no hyperparameter selection or tuning is required. The method is demonstrated for positron emission tomography (PET) data at different noise levels, and delivers near-optimal reconstructions (in terms of reconstruction error) without any knowledge of the ground truth, nor any form of training data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8959175
Pages (from-to)2163-2175
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number6
Early online date14 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Image reconstruction
  • bootstrap methods
  • emission tomography
  • hyperparameter selection
  • inverse problems
  • regularisation


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