Deep Denoising for Scientific Discovery: A Case Study in Electron Microscopy

Sreyas Mohan, Ramon Manzorro, Joshua L. Vincent, Binh Tang, Dev Y. Sheth, Eero Simoncelli, David S. Matteson, Peter A. Crozier, Carlos Fernandez-Granda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Denoising is a fundamental challenge in scientific imaging. Deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) provide the current state of the art in denoising natural images, where they produce impressive results. However, their potential has been inadequately explored in the context of scientific imaging. Denoising CNNs are typically trained on real natural images artificially corrupted with simulated noise. In contrast, in scientific applications, noiseless ground-truth images are usually not available. To address this issue, we propose a simulation-based denoising (SBD) framework, in which CNNs are trained on simulated images. We test the framework on data obtained from transmission electron microscopy (TEM), an imaging technique with widespread applications in material science, biology, and medicine. SBD outperforms existing techniques by a wide margin on a simulated benchmark dataset, as well as on real data. We analyze the generalization capability of SBD, demonstrating that the trained networks are robust to variations of imaging parameters and of the underlying signal structure. Our results reveal that state-of-the-art architectures for denoising photographic images may not be well adapted to scientific-imaging data. For instance, substantially increasing their field-of-view dramatically improves their performance on TEM images acquired at low signal-to-noise ratios. We also demonstrate that standard performance metrics for photographs (such as PSNR and SSIM) may fail to produce scientifically meaningful evaluation. We propose several metrics to remedy this issue for the case of atomic resolution electron microscope images. In addition, we propose a technique, based on likelihood computations, to visualize the agreement between the structure of the denoised images and the observed data. Finally, we release a publicly available benchmark dataset of TEM images, containing 18,000 examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • deep learning
  • denoising
  • electron microscopy
  • scientific imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Deep Denoising for Scientific Discovery: A Case Study in Electron Microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this