The recently proposed sparsifying transform models incur low computational cost and have been applied to medical imaging. Meanwhile, deep models with nested network structure reveal great potential for learning features in different layers. In this study, we propose a network-structured sparsifying transform learning approach for X-ray computed tomography (CT), which we refer to as multi-layer clustering-based residual sparsifying transform (MCST) learning. The proposed MCST scheme learns multiple different unitary transforms in each layer by dividing each layer's input into several classes. We apply the MCST model to low-dose CT (LDCT) reconstruction by deploying the learned MCST model into the regularizer in penalized weighted least squares (PWLS) reconstruction. We conducted LDCT reconstruction experiments on XCAT phantom data and Mayo Clinic data and trained the MCST model with 2 (or 3) layers and with 5 clusters in each layer. The learned transforms in the same layer showed rich features while additional information is extracted from representation residuals. Our simulation results demonstrate that PWLS-MCST achieves better image reconstruction quality than the conventional FBP method and PWLS with edge-preserving (EP) regularizer. It also outperformed recent advanced methods like PWLS with a learned multi-layer residual sparsifying transform prior (MARS) and PWLS with a union of learned transforms (ULTRA), especially for displaying clear edges and preserving subtle details.
* 19 pages, 12 figures, submitted to the Medical Physics
Achieving high-quality reconstructions from low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) measurements is of much importance in clinical settings. Model-based image reconstruction methods have been proven to be effective in removing artifacts in LDCT. In this work, we propose an approach to learn a rich two-layer clustering-based sparsifying transform model (MCST2), where image patches and their subsequent feature maps (filter residuals) are clustered into groups with different learned sparsifying filters per group. We investigate a penalized weighted least squares (PWLS) approach for LDCT reconstruction incorporating learned MCST2 priors. Experimental results show the superior performance of the proposed PWLS-MCST2 approach compared to other related recent schemes.
Signal models based on sparse representations have received considerable attention in recent years. On the other hand, deep models consisting of a cascade of functional layers, commonly known as deep neural networks, have been highly successful for the task of object classification and have been recently introduced to image reconstruction. In this work, we develop a new image reconstruction approach based on a novel multi-layer model learned in an unsupervised manner by combining both sparse representations and deep models. The proposed framework extends the classical sparsifying transform model for images to a Multi-lAyer Residual Sparsifying transform (MARS) model, wherein the transform domain data are jointly sparsified over layers. We investigate the application of MARS models learned from limited regular-dose images for low-dose CT reconstruction using Penalized Weighted Least Squares (PWLS) optimization. We propose new formulations for multi-layer transform learning and image reconstruction. We derive an efficient block coordinate descent algorithm to learn the transforms across layers, in an unsupervised manner from limited regular-dose images. The learned model is then incorporated into the low-dose image reconstruction phase. Low-dose CT experimental results with both the XCAT phantom and Mayo Clinic data show that the MARS model outperforms conventional methods such as FBP and PWLS methods based on the edge-preserving (EP) regularizer and the single-layer learned transform (ST) model, especially in terms of reducing noise and maintaining some subtle details.
* 24 pages, 10 figures, submitted journal paper. arXiv admin note: text
overlap with arXiv:2005.03825
Signal models based on sparse representation have received considerable attention in recent years. Compared to synthesis dictionary learning, sparsifying transform learning involves highly efficient sparse coding and operator update steps. In this work, we propose a Multi-layer Residual Sparsifying Transform (MRST) learning model wherein the transform domain residuals are jointly sparsified over layers. In particular, the transforms for the deeper layers exploit the more intricate properties of the residual maps. We investigate the application of the learned MRST model for low-dose CT reconstruction using Penalized Weighted Least Squares (PWLS) optimization. Experimental results on Mayo Clinic data show that the MRST model outperforms conventional methods such as FBP and PWLS methods based on edge-preserving (EP) regularizer and single-layer transform (ST) model, especially for maintaining some subtle details.