Variable Splitting as a Key to Efficient Image Reconstruction
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The problem of reconstruction of digital images from their degraded measurements has always been a problem of central importance in numerous applications of imaging sciences. In real life, acquired imaging data is typically contaminated by various types of degradation phenomena which are usually related to the imperfections of image acquisition devices and/or environmental effects. Accordingly, given the degraded measurements of an image of interest, the fundamental goal of image reconstruction is to recover its close approximation, thereby "reversing" the effect of image degradation. Moreover, the massive production and proliferation of digital data across different fields of applied sciences creates the need for methods of image restoration which would be both accurate and computationally efficient. Developing such methods, however, has never been a trivial task, as improving the accuracy of image reconstruction is generally achieved at the expense of an elevated computational burden. Accordingly, the main goal of this thesis has been to develop an analytical framework which allows one to tackle a wide scope of image reconstruction problems in a computationally efficient manner. To this end, we generalize the concept of variable splitting, as a tool for simplifying complex reconstruction problems through their replacement by a sequence of simpler and therefore easily solvable ones. Moreover, we consider two different types of variable splitting and demonstrate their connection to a number of existing approaches which are currently used to solve various inverse problems. In particular, we refer to the first type of variable splitting as Bregman Type Splitting (BTS) and demonstrate its applicability to the solution of complex reconstruction problems with composite, cross-domain constraints. As specific applications of practical importance, we consider the problem of reconstruction of diffusion MRI signals from sub-critically sampled, incomplete data as well as the problem of blind deconvolution of medical ultrasound images. Further, we refer to the second type of variable splitting as Fuzzy Clustering Splitting (FCS) and show its application to the problem of image denoising. Specifically, we demonstrate how this splitting technique allows us to generalize the concept of neighbourhood operation as well as to derive a unifying approach to denoising of imaging data under a variety of different noise scenarios.