Fanxiang Jiao Thesis Defense 05/08/12

Thesis Defense

Fanxiang Jiao

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
10:00am (3780 WEB)

Title: Uncertainty Analysis and Visualization of Diffusion Tensor Images


Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) has become a popular technique to detect brain white matter structure. However, imaging noise, imaging artifacts, and modeling techniques, etc., create many uncertainties, which may generate misleading information for further analysis or applications, such as surgical planning. Therefore, how to analyze, effectively visualize, and reduce these uncertainties become very important research questions. In this dissertation, we present both rank-k decomposition and direct decomposition approaches based on spherical deconvolution to decompose the fiber directions more accurately for high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) data, which will reduce the uncertainties of the fiber directions. By applying volume rendering techniques to an ensemble of 3D orientation distribution function (ODF) glyphs, which we call SIP functions of diffusion shapes, one can elucidates the complex heteroscedastic structural variation in these local diffusion shapes. Furthermore, we quantify the extent of this variation by measuring the fraction of the volume of these shapes, which is consistent across all noise levels, the certain volume ratio. To better understand the uncertainties in white matter fiber tracks, we propose three metrics to quantify the differences between the results of diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) fiber tracking algorithms: the area between corresponding fibers of each bundle, the Earth Mover's Distance (EMD) between two fiber bundle volumes, and the current distance between two fiber bundle volumes. Based on these metrics, we discuss an interactive fiber track comparison visualization toolkit we have developed to visualize these uncertainties more efficiently. Physical phantoms, with high repeatability and reproducibility, are also designed with the hope of validating the dMRI techniques. In summary, this dissertation provides a better understanding about uncertainties in diffusion magnetic resonance imaging: where and how much are the uncertainties? How to reduce these uncertainties? How to possibly validate our algorithms?

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