Analyzing Reconstruction Artifacts from Arbitrary Incomplete X-ray CT Data

Jakob Jorgensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article provides a mathematical analysis of singular (nonsmooth) artifacts added to reconstructions by filtered backprojection (FBP) type algorithms for X-ray computed tomography (CT) with arbitrary incomplete data. We prove that these singular artifacts arise from points at the boundary of the data set. Our results show that, depending on the geometry of this boundary, two types of artifacts can arise: object-dependent and object-independent artifacts. Object-dependent artifacts are generated by singularities of the object being scanned, and these artifacts can extend along lines. They generalize the streak artifacts observed in limited-angle tomography. Object-independent artifacts, on the other hand, are essentially independent of the object and take one of two forms: streaks on lines if the boundary of the data set is not smooth at a point and curved artifacts if the boundary is smooth locally. We prove that these streak and curve artifacts are the only singular artifacts that can occur for FBP in the continuous case. In addition to the geometric description of artifacts, the article provides characterizations of their strength in Sobolev scale in certain cases. The results of this article apply to the well-known incomplete data problems, including limited-angle and region-of-interest tomography, as well as to unconventional X-ray CT imaging setups that arise in new practical applications. Reconstructions from simulated and real data are analyzed to illustrate our theorems, including the reconstruction that motivated this work---a synchrotron data set in which artifacts appear on lines that have no relation to the object.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2786-2814
    Number of pages29
    JournalSIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018


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