3-D Reconstruction from Single Projections, with Applications to Astronomical Images
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A variety of techniques exist for three-dimensional reconstruction when multiple views are available, but less attention has been given to reconstruction when only a single view is available. Such a situation is normal in astronomy, when a galaxy (for example) is so distant that it is impossible to obtain views from significantly different angles. In this thesis I examine the problem of reconstructing the three-dimensional structure of a galaxy from this single viewpoint. I accomplish this by taking advantage of the image formation process, symmetry relationships, and other structural assumptions that may be made about galaxies. Most galaxies are approximately symmetric in some way. Frequently, this symmetry corresponds to symmetry about an axis of rotation, which allows strong statements to be made about the relationships between luminosity at each point in the galaxy. It is through these relationships that the number of unknown values needed to describe the structure of the galaxy can be reduced to the number of constraints provided by the image so the optimal reconstruction is well-defined. Other structural properties can also be described under this framework. I provide a mathematical framework and analyses that prove the uniqueness of solutions under certain conditions and to show how uncertainty may be precisely and explicitly expressed. Empirical results are shown using real and synthetic data. I also show a comparison to a state-of-the-art two-dimensional modelling technique to demonstrate the contrasts between the two frameworks and show the important advantages of the three-dimensional approach. In combination, the theoretical and experimental aspects of this thesis demonstrate that the proposed framework is versatile, practical, and novel---a contribution to both computer science and astronomy.