Journal article

Deep Convolutional Neural Network for Inverse Problems in Imaging

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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