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Spectral Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Resolution Assessment of 3D Reconstructions

M. Unser, C.Ó. Sánchez Sorzano, P. Thévenaz, S. Jonić, C. El-Bez, S. De Carlo, J.F. Conway, B.L. Trus

Journal of Structural Biology, vol. 149, no. 3, pp. 243-255, March 2005.

Measuring the quality of three-dimensional (3D) reconstructed biological macromolecules by transmission electron microscopy is still an open problem. In this article, we extend the applicability of the spectral signal-to-noise ratio (SSNR) to the evaluation of 3D volumes reconstructed with any reconstruction algorithm. The basis of the method is to measure the consistency between the data and a corresponding set of reprojections computed for the reconstructed 3D map. The idiosyncrasies of the reconstruction algorithm are taken explicitly into account by performing a noise-only reconstruction. This results in the definition of a 3D SSNR which provides an objective indicator of the quality of the 3D reconstruction. Furthermore, the information to build the SSNR can be used to produce a volumetric SSNR (VSSNR). Our method overcomes the need to divide the data set in two. It also provides a direct measure of the performance of the reconstruction algorithm itself; this latter information is typically not available with the standard resolution methods which are primarily focused on reproducibility alone.

AUTHOR="Unser, M. and S{\'{a}}nchez Sorzano, C.{\'{O}}. and
        Th{\'{e}}venaz, P. and Joni{\'{c}}, S. and El-Bez, C. and De Carlo,
        S. and Conway, J.F. and Trus, B.L.",
TITLE="Spectral Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Resolution Assessment of 3D
JOURNAL="Journal of Structural Biology",

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