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Publication# Deep Convolutional Neural Network for Inverse Problems in Imaging

Michaël Unser, Kyong Hwan Jin, Michael Thompson McCann, Emmanuel Augustin Julien Froustey

2017

Journal paper

2017

Journal paper

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a novel deep convolutional neural network (CNN)-based algorithm for solving ill-posed inverse problems. Regularized iterative algorithms have emerged as the standard approach to ill-posed inverse problems in the past few decades. These methods produce excellent results, but can be challenging to deploy in practice due to factors including the high computational cost of the forward and adjoint operators and the difficulty of hyperparameter selection. The starting point of this paper is the observation that unrolled iterative methods have the form of a CNN (filtering followed by pointwise nonlinearity) when the normal operator $(H ^{ * }$ H, where $H ^{ * }$ is the adjoint of the forward imaging operator, H) of the forward model is a convolution. Based on this observation, we propose using direct inversion followed by a CNN to solve normal-convolutional inverse problems. The direct inversion encapsulates the physical model of the system, but leads to artifacts when the problem is ill posed; the CNN combines multiresolution decomposition and residual learning in order to learn to remove these artifacts while preserving image structure. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed network in sparse-view reconstruction (down to 50 views) on parallel beam X-ray computed tomography in synthetic phantoms as well as in real experimental sinograms. The proposed network outperforms total variation-regularized iterative reconstruction for the more realistic phantoms and requires less than a second to reconstruct a 512 × 512 image on the GPU.

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Inverse problem

An inverse problem in science is the process of calculating from a set of observations the causal factors that produced them: for example, calculating an image in X-ray computed tomography, source reconstruction in acoustics, or calculating the density of the Earth from measurements of its gravity field. It is called an inverse problem because it starts with the effects and then calculates the causes. It is the inverse of a forward problem, which starts with the causes and then calculates the effects.

Residual neural network

A Residual Neural Network (a.k.a. Residual Network, ResNet) is a deep learning model in which the weight layers learn residual functions with reference to the layer inputs. A Residual Network is a network with skip connections that perform identity mappings, merged with the layer outputs by addition. It behaves like a Highway Network whose gates are opened through strongly positive bias weights. This enables deep learning models with tens or hundreds of layers to train easily and approach better accuracy when going deeper.

Deep learning

Deep learning is part of a broader family of machine learning methods, which is based on artificial neural networks with representation learning. The adjective "deep" in deep learning refers to the use of multiple layers in the network. Methods used can be either supervised, semi-supervised or unsupervised.

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