Two-step inversion with a logarithmic transformation for microwave breast imaging
The authors have developed a new two-step microwave tomographic image reconstruction process specifically designed to incorporate logarithmic transformed microwave imaging algorithms as a means of significantly improving spatial resolution and target property recovery. Log transform eliminates the need for a priori information, but spatial filtering often integrated as part of the regularization required to stabilize image recovery, generally smooths image features and reduces object definition. The new implementation begins with this smoothed image as the first step, but then utilizes it as the starting estimate for a second step which continues the iterative process with a standard weighted Euclidean distance regularization. The penalty term of the latter restricts the new image to a multi-dimensional location close to the original but allows the algorithm to optimize the image without excessive smoothing.Methods:
The overall approach is based on a Gauss-Newton iterative scheme which incorporates a log transformation as a way of making the reconstruction more linear. It has been shown to be robust and not require a priori information as a condition for convergence, but does produce somewhat smoothed images as a result of associated regularization. The new two-step process utilizes the previous technique to generate a smoothed initial estimate and then uses the same reconstruction process with a weighted Euclidean distance penalty term. A simple and repeatable method has been implemented to determine the weighting factor without significant computational burden. The reconstructions are assessed according to conventional parameter estimation metrics.Results:
We apply the approach to phantom experiments using large, high contrast canonical shapes followed by a set of images recovered from an actual patient exam. The image improvements are substantial in regards to improved property recovery and feature delineation without inducing unwanted artifacts. Analysis of the residual vector after the reconstruction process further emphasizes that the minimization criterion is efficient with minimal biases.Conclusions:
The outcome is a novel synergism of an established stable reconstruction algorithm with a conventional regularization technique. It maintains the ability to recover high quality microwave tomographic images without the bias of a priori information while substantially improving image quality. The results are confirmed on both phantom experiments and patient exams.