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High-Quality Parallel-Ray x-Ray CT Back Projection Using Optimized Interpolation

M.T. McCann, M. Unser

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, in press.

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We propose a new, cost-efficient method for computing back projections in parallel-ray X-ray CT. Forward and back projections are the basis of almost all X-ray CT reconstruction methods, but computing these accurately is costly. In the special case of parallel-ray geometry, it turns out that reconstruction requires back projection only. One approach to accelerate the back projection is through interpolation: fit a continuous representation to samples of the desired signal, then sample it at the required locations. Instead, we propose applying a prefilter that has the effect of orthogonally projecting the underlying signal onto the space spanned by the interpolator, which can significantly improve the quality of the interpolation. We then build on this idea by using oblique projection, which simplifies the computation while giving effectively the same improvement in quality. Our experiments on analytical phantoms show that this refinement can improve the reconstruction quality for both filtered back projection and iterative reconstruction in the high-quality regime, i.e., with low noise and many measurements.

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