PURIFY: a new approach to radio-interferometric imaging
In a recent article series, the authors have promoted convex optimization algorithms for radio-interferometric imaging in the framework of compressed sensing, which leverages sparsity regularization priors for the associated inverse problem and defines a minimization problem for image reconstruction. This approach was shown, in theory and through simulations in a simple discrete visibility setting, to have the potential to outperform significantly CLEAN and its evolutions. In this work, we leverage the versatility of convex optimization in solving minimization problems to both handle realistic continuous visibilities and offer a highly parallelizable structure paving the way to significant acceleration of the reconstruction and high-dimensional data scalability. The new algorithmic structure promoted relies on the simultaneous-direction method of multipliers (SDMM), and contrasts with the current major-minor cycle structure of CLEAN and its evolutions, which in particular cannot handle the state-of-the-art minimization problems under consideration where neither the regularization term nor the data term are differentiable functions. We release a beta version of an SDMM-based imaging software written in C and dubbed PURIFY (http://basp-group.github.io/purify/) that handles various sparsity priors, including our recent average sparsity approach SARA. We evaluate the performance of different priors through simulations in the continuous visibility setting, confirming the superiority of SARA.