Two-dimensional tomography from noisy projections taken at unknown random directions

A. Singer, H. T. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computerized tomography is a standard method for obtaining internal structure of objects from their projection images. While CT reconstruction requires the knowledge of the imaging directions, there are some situations in which the imaging directions are unknown, for example, when imaging a moving object. It is therefore desirable to design a reconstruction method from projection images taken at unknown directions. Another difficulty arises from the fact that the projections are often contaminated by noise, practically limiting all current methods, including the recently proposed diffusion map approach. In this paper, we introduce two denoising steps that allow reconstructions at much lower signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) when combined with the diffusion map framework. In the first denoising step we use principal component analysis (PCA) together with classical Wiener filtering to derive an asymptotically optimal linear filter. In the second step, we denoise the graph of similarities between the filtered projections using a network analysis measure such as the Jaccard index. Using this combination of PCA, Wiener filtering, graph denoising, and diffusion maps, we are able to reconstruct the two-dimensional (2-D) Shepp-Logan phantom from simulative noisy projections at SNRs well below their currently reported threshold values. We also report the results of a numerical experiment corresponding to an abdominal CT. Although the focus of this paper is the 2-D CT reconstruction problem, we believe that the combination of PCA, Wiener filtering, graph denoising, and diffusion maps is potentially useful in other signal processing and image analysis applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-175
Number of pages40
JournalSIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 5 2013


  • Computerized tomography
  • Diffusion maps
  • Graph denoising
  • Jaccard index
  • Principal component analysis
  • Shepp-Logan phantom
  • Small world graph
  • Wiener filtering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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